"Bella, Bella," I pleaded in the confined space of the SUV.
About a mile from the Cullen's, I had to pull off to the side of the road. I had no problem focusing as Bella freaked out to a near panic attack in the passenger seat, but I did not want to show up at the Cullen's with Bella in this state. And, well, also, while I hate to admit it, I don't like it when she cries. It makes me feel... weak, incompetent. I don't know how to explain it. It just wasn't right.
She had curled into herself. With her head collapsed between her knees and each word paused by a gasp, she repeated breathlessly, "Oh. My. God. Oh. My God. Jacob. Oh. My. God."
"Baby, baby, calm down," I begged, trying to unravel her from herself to get her to look at me.
"I. Can't. Breathe."
Trying my best not to hurt her, I grabbed her about her waist and shoulders, and guided her across the arch between the driver's and passenger's seat and into my lap. She was still cramped in on herself, but I didn't let her do so alone. I wrapped my arms around her as she sat legs to chest on my lap.
Her heart was wild. She was sweating, but the hair on her arms had raised into tiny bumps, like she was cold. The panic her body was going through was the same anxiety I often knew my prey to adopt. It is just so wrong to compare Bella to the things I eat. In my mind, there is such a difference between the two things (Bella and blood), but in reality... there really isn't a difference at all. I hate admitting it, but moments like this, it is undeniable, only accepted.
I really had no clue what to do. Shivering, she was clearly terrified. Her fear was not irrational. It was the same fear I had been reduced to upon seeing the wolves the night before.
Nearly thirty minutes had passed before she began to breathe easier, and as she calmed, so did I. It was only then that I realized how tense I was.
"I didn't know," she whispered against me. She sounded exhausted. "I mean, I knew. Alice told me of them, of what happened between them and you last night, but I didn't expect Jacob to be one of them... He's a werewolf..."
"Do you have any normal friends, Bella?" I mean, really. She's a teenager. She shouldn't be friends with only werewolves and vampire. It couldn't be healthy. Would I find out next week that she is tied to some unknown, underground cult of witches. It is almost ironic that she should be so shaken by finding out her friend is a big dog when she can sleep peacefully in the company of a blood-thirsty vampire, such as I.
Shifting to a more casual position, she looked around. "Where are we?"
"I... uh... I thought we'd go to the Cullen's, but I have a better idea now."
She looked at me with curious eyes.
"We need to leave, Bella," I explained with the most sincerity I could muster. Now that she's seen the size of the wolves, and she knows about the instability of the treaty, she should understand how dire the situation is.
She looked at me suspiciously. "What do you mean by 'leave'?"
"Leave Forks. Leave Washington. Hell, we'd be better off just leaving the country."
Where I was expecting rationality, she was frantic, "Leave Forks? What? No. Victoria, just no. I can't leave again. My father. The Cullens. I can't just leave them!"
"The Cullens?!" At that, I pushed her off my lap and back over to the passenger's seat. She shuffled over clumsily.
"Yes, the Cullen's, Victoria," she replied, exasperated. "They're in danger. We can't leave. We caused this!"
"This is their problem, Bella." I was practically shouting. "They created all of it! We have no reason to stay. In fact, we have more of a reason to leave. We owe them nothing!"
"We can't just leave them, Victoria." Her voice was timid compared to my tone.
"Yes, we can! I can," I clarified, glaring.
How is it that for being on my side, it never feels like she is on my side. I want to trust that she is with me, that she really chose me, but... Really?! The Cullens! Instead of life with me, she wants death with the Cullens.
The car became quiet as I waited for her rebuttal, but silence was the only reply I was given.
"Bella," I asked anxiously, but my voice was much softer than the last time I spoke. The silence had chilled my ire. "We have to leave. We can't get involved in this. You saw Jacob transform. They're main purpose is to kill vampires. This is not our battle. We can get out of here tonight, right now."
"No, we can't." Her voice was cold as her expression. "But you can."
My heart actually ached at this. It bit into me with a bitterness I can only describe as sharp, pointed, and so very intentional. She meant to hurt me, and that was more wounding than the actual words.
Looking away from her dead stare, I situated myself, and turned on the SUV. "Is that what you want?" I spoke with just as much ice as she had given me.
"You don't care what I want."
I glanced at her sharply. Her gaze was piercing, challenging. "I suppose it doesn't matter. If I wanted to do something with you, I could."
It was dark of me, but, with the depth she was looking to cut me, she wanted the darkness. "Maybe I should just kill you now, since you're so intent on dying in this town."
Her heart skipped a beat.
I nearly grinned.
"You should," she replied stoically.
"I could," I growled.
"I know." Her words mimicked acid. Burning. Corroding my resolve.
Too outraged at her words, I jerked the car into motion.
"Where are we going," she asked nervously.
I didn't answer.
"Victoria, please," she begged. She was afraid. How dare she be afraid. She just pushed all of my buttons, and she gets to be afraid of the consequences of doing so? She is insane.
Putting the pedal to the floor, I growled, "To our new family."
I wouldn't be without her, even if she wanted otherwise.
"I love you," she moaned in a whisper, pulled her legs back to her chest, and began to cry, but these tears felt like they belonged to me, like they were for me. I greedily accepted them. I deserved them more than Jacob, the Cullens, and even Edward.
A/N: Well, that escalated quickly...