I know, I know. It has been for freakin' ever but my real life has been rather busy as of late. I'm loving the new job, but I'm putting in insane hours for the moment. But it won't last forever. Thanks for the well wishes.
Okay, here we go. This one is a cliffy warning. Big old cliffy.
Thanks for reading and reviewing and all the support. Love you!
I don't own anything.
"Once upon a time there was a nice vampire coven. They didn't eat anybody. Only the wildlife, so Bambi was kinda screwed. One of these vampires was the most beautiful in all the land,"
I snort, rolling my eyes as I read a worn copy of Pride and Prejudice.
Edward says, "Here, here."
"No interruptions," Nessie scolds. "Are you even looking?"
"Oh course I'm looking," replies Edward. "I'm staring right at the scrapbook. Who made all these?" He gestures towards the giant bookcase in my closet, heavily laden with hundreds of scrapbooks documenting every phase of Nessie's long life. The pair of them sits propped up on the headboard of the massive bed in my room in the main house. I lounge across the foot of the bed on my stomach, half reading and half listening, as Nessie shows Edward pictures from our past. It's become something of a weekly exercise with them. Sometimes I hang around. Sometimes I give them daddy daughter time.
"Who do you think?" I ask.
"Alice," Edward guesses.
"Esme helped," Nessie interjects. "Can you two stop with the chit chatting? You're ruining my story. Mom, I'm gonna send you away if you can't behave."
"Sorry," Edward and I murmur in unison.
"Okay. Most beautiful vampire in all the land. She was pretty and smart and kicked ass."
"Vanessa," I reprimand.
"But this vampire was also a mom. She had a weird kid who grew up really slowly, but faster than the mom wanted her to. The beautiful mom vamp was kinda psycho and wouldn't let her 64-year-old daughter, who was also super beautiful, attend school. Look, here is a picture of me looking sad."
I've seen these albums hundreds of times and can't recall the image Nessie is talking about.
"You don't look sad. It looks like you were about to laugh," Edward observes. "Dang, you were a cute little kid. What happened?"
"Rude," Nessie says, playfully slapping her father in the chest with the back of her hand. He tickles her. She shrieks. They both laugh. I smile so big my face hurts. "Do you even want to hear my story, Edward? It's a good one. How a resilient 64 year old finally convinced her control freak mother to let her go to school with the normal kids."
"It sounds like a classic," Edward says.
"I'm not a control freak," I mutter.
"Who is even talking about you, Mom?" Nessie snaps. "This is a story. You both need to chill out and let me tell it."
"Sorry," Edward and I murmur in unison again.
"Okay, so this smart, funny, awesome hybrid daughter of the beautiful vampire mom wanted to get a good education like the normal kids. It was her right as an American and she looked like all the other nine year olds, but it still took her five years of pleading before the mom vampire finally agreed to stop being so stubborn and let her smart, funny, awesome hybrid daughter go to school."
Nessie takes a big breath and I grin into my novel. It wasn't exactly how Ness is telling it, but pretty close. I didn't want to let my daughter out of my sight. And I agreed to let her go to school eventually but only after she thoroughly learned a cover story. Not an easy task for nine-year-old Nessie. She was very easily distracted by the wonder of the world back then.
Come to think of it, not much has changed on that front.
But eventually she got the story down, Jake got a job in the elementary school when we moved to a small town in Alaska, and I couldn't think of another reason to say no.
"The coven of nice vampires moved to Skagway, Alaska where it's like never sunny and there are only like 900 hundred people who live there except in the summer when thousands come to town off the cruise ships, but it was a very nice place with a very nice school and very nice people. Here's a picture of our house there, way up in the mountains. It's a log cabin. Do you like it, Edward? I want to live there again but Carlisle says not enough time has passed."
"I like it. The snow is taller than you are."
"I was short then. Only 64 which is like nine. Here's me and Mom and Jake on the first day of school. He hated that janitor jumpsuit, but Mom wouldn't have let me go if he wasn't there to watch out for me," Nessie explains.
"That sounds reasonable," Edward replies. My daughter sighs and rolls her eyes. Now she has two overprotective parents.
"Look at all the neon I was wearing. What was I thinking," Nessie continues. An image of the pictures she's flipping through pops into my head. So much has changed since then, and it's all Edward's doing. "Mom dresses pretty much exactly the same. Jeans and t-shirts and sweaters and no bright colors."
"Well it must be working," says my husband. "She is the most beautiful vampire in all the land, after all."
"So what happened at school?" Edward asks.
"The smart, funny, awesome vampire hybrid loved school. She learned a lot and made friends and she felt like an actress. Mom said that we lie to keep the humans safe, so I didn't even feel bad about that either," Nessie says, smiling fondly. "We only stayed for three years before all my classmates got older and I didn't. Saying goodbye was hard and I cried a lot, but it got easier. And now I have Anna. I won't have to lie to her or say goodbye forever."
Until the human dies, but that is obviously not something I plan on bringing up at the moment.
"Those wolves have been good for you, haven't they?" Edward mutters begrudgingly.
"Yeah," Nessie says with a giggle. "Jake isn't so bad, Edward. Someday you'll like him. Just like mom. And don't worry. I won't have to make him my boyfriend when I turn 120 if I don't want to. Imprinting isn't like that."
Edward's jaw ticks and I try not to laugh. "Yes," he replies stiffly. "What a relief."
"I might even go on date with some other humans, you know. Someday. When I get interested in that sorta thing, which everyone says will happen eventually. Soon, probably. Some of the guys in my class are pretty cute."
I laugh. Edward growls. "Something to look forward to," he mutters.
They continue to flip through photos of our three years in Alaska. Edward laughs at a picture of me buried in snow, just my boots visible, like the wicked witch under the house in the Wizard of Oz. Emmett and Nessie high-five in the next picture, pleased their prank went off without a hitch.
"Oh, that's me at my very first choir concert," Nessie says excitedly. "I was so nervous. Do you remember how nervous I was, Mom?"
"I also remember you rocking your solo," I reply.
"You're coming to my next choir concert, "she asks, turning to Edward now. "At the end of the month? It's the last one before summer break and my last one ever at the middle school."
"I'll be there. Front row and center."
They've had this conversation about thirteen times in the last few weeks. I'm not sure what to make of Nessie's need to remind Edward almost constantly, but her obvious desire for him to attend is heartwarming.
"Oh, and you too, Mom," she says.
"What am I? Chopped liver?"
"Do you even know what that saying means?" she asks me.
"No," I reply. "Not really."
"Okay, that's all the pictures from Alaska." She closes the heavy volume documenting another three years of unlife with a satisfied thud, and pushes it off her lap. "What's next?"
"We have to talk eighth grade trip," I remind her, sitting up and crossing my legs underneath me.
Predictably, Nessie groans and buries her face in a pillow. "Mom, no."
"Uh, yes. I'm not letting Carlisle sign that permission slip until we agree on who is going with you," I say.
"I'm taking Jake."
"You're going all the way to Seattle," I point out. "Jake might be fine for when you go to Port Angeles, but the city is too far. If something happens it will take too long for us to get to you."
"I told you that you're a psycho!" she shrieks, tugging at her hair. "Nothing bad ever happens. Nothing bad is going to happen in Seattle. I've been looking forward to this trip for weeks and it's the last hurrah of middle school and I won't have my two crazy parents breathing down my neck and not letting me have any fun!"
This is Nessie's first reference to Edward as her parent, and casual as it may be, it still seems to knock the wind out of both my husband and I. We gape at each other in overjoyed silence, but Ness keeps right on talking.
"You're not coming! No one else's parents are coming!"
"They think I'm your sister and they think Edward is your foster mom's little brother," I point out, finally finding my voice.
"That is so messed up," she replies, crossing her arms over her chest and scowling at me. Bratty Nessie has not emerged in many months, but really it isn't so bad. I much prefer this fight to the one we were having about Edward there for awhile. "You know this is so messed up right?"
"Nessie, do we really have to do this again? Need I remind you that you are a rarity in this world. Unique. And there are scary vampires out there that might want you," I say. "This is not me being a crazy overprotective parent. This is a very real danger, and you can't go to Seattle with just Jake, practically unprotected. This was the deal when we decided you could go to school. Appropriate protection. Always."
Nessie takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. When she opens them again it breaks my heart to see tears in her eyes.
"Okay," she mumbles. "Fine. Someone else can go with me, but it doesn't have to be you two. Seriously, that is so lame, having my parents tag along. Can't you at least understand that? What about Emmett and Rose? Jake and Emmett and Rose? That's gotta be enough, right?"
I sigh heavily and hope Edward isn't taking this personally. She's a preteen, and although I don't quite understand the whole get away from her parents who love her thing, Carlisle assures me it is perfectly normal for this stage of development.
"Go ask your aunt."
"Well, ask her when she gets back."
"Isn't compromise the best thing ever?" she asks, smiling sweetly.
"Just the best," I say, unable to hide my annoyance.
"Edward, if you weren't so on her side with all this psycho protect me stuff, you'd be allowed to come," she says, turning to shake her head at her father.
"Sorry, Vanessa. Your mom and I are something of a team these days, and I happen to thoroughly agree with her," he informs her.
"Traitor," she declares, smiling slightly. "I'm starving. Do you guys want to help me carry a few more boxes down to the cabin after dinner?"
We both nod. Nessie kisses Edward's cheek and then mine before prancing over to put away the photo album. She's calling for Esme to help her cook as she descends the staircase.
It is quiet for a moment before I discard my book and shuffle up the bed to lie next to my husband. I kiss his arm because it's the closest thing to my mouth, and Edward chuckles.
"We embarrass her," he mutters.
"It's a teenager thing, apparently."
"Although I would be in the clear if it wasn't my association with you," he says.
"Price you must pay for all my sweet lovin'."
He chuckles and wiggles down from his seated position until he's lying facing me, his head propped up on his elbow. Fingertips trace the planes of my face and my eyes flicker closed. I enjoy his touch and the quiet for a long moment until he bends to kiss me.
Nine months. He returned to me nine months ago, and already the massive expanse of time without him seems like a foggy memory. Kissing him like this is so familiar and necessary I have a hard time remembering what it was like nine months ago.
Until his return I didn't realize how lonely and cold I'd become, despite all the family that constantly surrounded me. It must have been so much worse for Edward.
His kiss is languid and deep, as if we have all the time in the world. He kisses me like we'll do it millions of times more for the rest of eternity. He kisses me as if he's content to simply kiss me and nothing else.
Our daughter is downstairs, happily chatting with Esme as the two of them putter around in the kitchen. They are joined by Jake and all of his terrible smell. The house is full of activity as various members of my family do whatever it is they normally do with themselves.
Despite all this I want Edward to do far more than kiss me lazily.
I tug on his shoulders until he follows my silent demand and rolls over, pinning me under his long, lanky frame. His lips never leave mine as hands begin to wander. My fingers thread through his soft bronze hair. His hand slips under my t-shirt, palming my stomach before slipping lower to grip my hip. He runs his thumb just under the waistband of my jeans.
I bite his lip and he groans. In retaliation he rubs his leg in between my thighs, making me moan and ache.
Our groping escalates, as does our breathing. Some part of my brain tells me that this is creepy with all the people within hearing distance, but it's so difficult to not touch him always.
Although I can't remember what it's like to be without him, I'm still not quite used to being able to touch him constantly either.
Edward pauses, pulling away. My eyes flutter open to see him gazing down at me, that soft, so in love look on his face.
"Is this what it feels like to be happy?" he asks, so quietly only I can hear.
Words seem to get lodged in my throat. All I can manage to do is nod.
"Hey, Nessie," Jake says from downstairs, his mouth full of food. "Do you know your parents are making out like teenagers upstairs?"
"Ew!" she yells, smacking him. "Gross, Jake. I'm eating."
Edward growls. I sigh.
"Well, it was happiness at least. Come on. Let's go be social."
Since my return from Italy, Nessie has been moving into the cabin bit by bit. What started out as a weekend practice extended to a night here or there, and apparently Nessie spent the five days while I was away here alone with Edward, trying to cheer her father.
Sometimes I think she knows about what I do. It makes my stomach turn, but she's so damn perceptive. There are moments when she just seems to know that there is more to the story, something I'm keeping from her, something she's better off not knowing.
She certainly sensed Edward's distress at my departure. When I returned from the airport with her father she hugged me and happily announced her plans to paint her room in the cabin bright yellow.
Since then she painted her room the desired color and has been moving her belongings down from the main house in increments.
Still, we see the rest of the family daily, and go to the big house all the time for piano lessons or to peruse the editions of photo albums. Plus, Nessie much prefers Esme as an assistant in the kitchen because apparently I "burn water."
I questioned the logic of moving all her crap down here that isn't necessary to her daily life, especially if we followed our original plan of moving on after graduation, but my daughter changed this as well. She sat Carlisle and I down, begging us to give her one more year, to let her try high school for the first time. Her argument was shockingly well reasoned, plus I've always liked Forks.
My woods are here, we have a home with Edward here, and the wolves are here.
Another year won't hurt, and I am quite enjoying the little home my immediate family is building in the woods. It's a set up I'd like to duplicate in the future. Although I love every member of my crazy coven, Edward, Nessie, and I need time just the three of us.
And it's not perfect. Nessie still won't refer to her father as anything besides his first name. Jake and Edward can't manage to be civil for more than five minutes. Our relationship with the Denali's is strained as Tanya and I refuse to speak to each other. I'm deeply uneasy about Edward's former companions, although we haven't heard from them in months.
The Volturi continue to loom over our heads as well, causing tension between Edward and I. Although I managed to wiggle my way out of our arrangement last time, sooner rather than later I'll have to face Aro again, and I have no idea how he'll react to my little coup now that he's had time to think about it. Time is different for someone as ancient as Aro, and it could be years before he decides to punish me for my insolence.
We seem to argue in circles. Even discussing it with various members of the family proves fruitless. No one has any real ideas that will save me from Aro. I have nothing to trade him for the freedom of my body.
And I've been coming to a revelation of sorts, a terrifying certainty that the only way I'll ever be free is to kill him. My freedom and Nessie's safety is dependent on Aro's decapitation.
It seems impossible. They have all the power. Aro certainly likes to think the gifts of his collection means he personally has all the power, but it's not really the case. He doesn't fight. His gift brings him knowledge, but no physical strength. There is dissatisfaction amongst the guard. Felix has been quietly miserable for years, ever since Jane rejected him for the vampire lord. Dmitri is too gentle to ever really fit in. And the new guy, Benjamin. If it wasn't for his fear for the unlife of his mate, he could burn them all to the ground.
The very beginnings of a plot forms in my head. It is ill defined, but I am determined. If I ever do manage to stage a coup, it will take years and years.
These are dangerous thoughts, percolating in my head, but I dare not mention any of these reckless musings to anyone in my family as they desperately seek a solution of my horrible arrangement.
My head is the only place safe from Aro, and to share the burden, to enlist their help with my probable suicidal revolution, would do nothing but endanger us at all.
But for now all I can do is survive. All I can do is ensure that Vanessa has the very best life possible and make Edward feel loved.
"Are you okay?"
"Bella, I'm fine."
"Seriously, stop asking me. You're making it worse every time you ask."
"I'm just trying to be a good wife. We can go if you need to. We are vampires after all and we could hear fine from the parking lot."
"Nessie would kill us."
"She would rather you listen from the parking lot than slaughter the parents of her peers."
"I won't be slaughtering anyone. Can we go in now?" he asks, whining slightly and even stomping his foot. I can't help but grin at him. He's so cute when he's anxious, and his excitement to see our daughter sing nearly matches Nessie's excitement to have him here.
Lacing my fingers through his, I pull him into the line of humans streaming into the auditorium. Edward has that look of faint discomfort on his face. I'm not sure what is more irritating to him, the blood or the thoughts of hundreds of humans.
It doesn't take us long to snake through the crowd to the second row. Jake and Carlisle got here early to save everyone seats. I volunteered, but it was agreed upon rather unanimously that the less time Edward spent among the people the better and where I go, Edward goes.
"Where's Alice?" I ask as we take our seats in the center of the row.
"Up there," Jazz says, gesturing behind him. "She's trying to find the ideal location to film this sucker."
"She can't film it from here?" I ask. It seems like a damn good view of the small, low stage.
Jasper sighs. "There is no arguing with the woman. She's a perfectionist."
My hand, combined with Edward's, rests in his lap. When I run my thumbs over his knuckles I can feel his tense frame deflate slightly.
We have to sit through the 6th and 7th grade choirs first, but I think I have little patience for the screechy voices of the tiny humans. Parents around us gush at the cuteness, but apparently not that much of my humanity remains because I don't get it. They can't even sing.
The 8th graders are much preferable, obviously, and although I would like them to all sing back up to my daughter, the experience is still enjoyable.
Nessie takes the whole thing very seriously. She offers us a small smile and slight wave when she marches onto the stage, but then she takes on this air of professionalism that is just adorable. Alice helped curl her hair in perfect ringlets, and it somewhat clashes with her orange vest and bow tie, but the whole thing is so wonderful anyway.
This is normal. It is so lovely in its normality. Edward and I sit here, in this auditorium, surrounded by other parents, watching our child perform. As Nessie sings in unison with her classmates, it feels like we haven't missed anything at all. Despite a hundred years apart and an unlife complicated by vampires and all sorts of other wacky supernatural crap, here in this moment it feels like we've given her everything we could have as humans, and more.
Edward can't stop smiling. He doesn't take his eyes off Nessie except to flash me the occasional look of awe.
She really is supremely talented. That voice of hers is such a gift. When she sings her solo, I wish for the thousandth time that I could cry.
"Did you like it?" Nessie asks as she bounds on over to us after the concert. She basically crashes into my far too hard body, wrapping her arms around my waist. I return her hug and her words are muffled as she speaks into my stomach. "How was I?"
"Brilliant as always, baby girl," I whisper in her ear, dropping a kiss on her temple. "It was wonderful."
"Thanks, Ma," she says, grinning up at me as she pushes away. She turns to Edward next.
"You sing beautifully, Vanessa," Edward tells her.
"I could've played the piano on any of those songs," she says.
"That you could," he agrees, pulling her into a hug. She goes willingly, closing her eyes as she squeezes him back.
"They won't let me, you know," she continues. "The teacher does that."
"Well," Edward replies as Nessie ends the embrace. "Maybe next year. I hear things are different in high school."
She squeaks in joy a bunch at that before moving on to hug the rest of the family. She is so happy and I feel normal again. Totally and blissfully normal, as if vampirism is irrelevant.
Edward is here. Our daughter is here. Family surrounds us. It would have been just like this if we didn't die almost a century ago.
"So what's next?" Nessie asks, turning back to me.
"I don't know," I reply, listening to the families around me and attempting to determine how to best continue to normalcy. "Should we go get sandwiches or something?"
Nessie makes eye contact with Jake and they both snicker.
"How about ice cream, Mom?" my daughter suggests.
"Do you have your toothbrush?" I ask.
"Mom!" Nessie shrieks. "I am 95 years old and capable of taking care of myself."
She slaps my hands away from her suitcase. Edward loiters in the doorway and chuckles.
"I can see your toothbrush from here," I point out. "Right there next to the sink."
Nessie lets out a frustrated growl and stomps over to her little bathroom. She stomps back, throwing her toothbrush in her suitcase with way more force than necessary.
"Don't you laugh, Edward," Nessie says, wheeling around to glare at her father.
He puts his hands up in a gesture of innocence, but a laugh escapes anyway. Nessie tries to hold her glare, but she ends up giggling herself. I grin, amused by their silliness.
"But seriously, I have everything. I'll only be gone three days."
"Three nights, four days."
"So are Rose and Em going to just take me to the school in the morning?" she asks, taking a seat to face me on the end of her bed.
"That is the plan. Unless you want us to take you: We can totally take you," I say, turning to look at my husband for support.
"We can totally take you," Edward agrees.
"Guys, don't be crazy. It makes sense for me to drive there with Emmett and Rosalie. Jake's meeting us there, right?" she asks.
"Yeah, he's the chaperone, which I find just ridiculous. Your aunt and uncle are going to follow in the car and just sneak around, going where you go," I explain, getting up to put her now packed suitcase on the floor. I move around the room, picking up all the clean clothes she thought about taking, but ultimately discarded.
"Lovely," she says, collapsing backwards and closing her eyes.
"Yup," Nessie agrees. "Dang, I packed my toothbrush. I need it now."
We all laugh again.
"Come kiss me goodnight," she demands.
Edward and I do as we're told. I bend and let her kiss my cheek. Edward kisses her forehead.
"Goodnight, Vanessa," he murmurs. "I love you."
I freeze and feel a bit like I am the one in danger of tipping over, but Nessie sits up and grins like a loon.
"You do?" she asks.
"Um… yes. Very much." He seems so uncomfortable, but somehow this just makes the moment that much sweeter.
"Good!" she squeaks. "I love you too."
Nessie chuckles and lays back down. "'Night, parents," she says. "See you in the morning."
I basically drag Edward out of Nessie's room and even somehow manage to refrain from slamming the door in my haste to get my husband alone. When we do get into our own room, Edward speaks before I have a chance to say anything.
"I love you, too," he says, staring at his feet. "I mean… from what you've said… I love you too. I think that's what this is."
I slide up to him, wrapping my arms around his waist and placing a kiss on his chin.
"That's exactly what this is," I whisper, the words getting clogged in my throat. "We are a family, Edward, and we love each other like crazy."
He nods and wraps his arms around my neck.
"I love you," I tell him. "So very, very much."
He closes his eyes, smiles, and melts into me.
"Take me to bed," I murmur. "Let me show you."
He walks me backwards, and then falls forward on top of me as the back of my calves hit the bed.
We spend two days in bed. I skip school, despite graduation being a week away. I do not care about the ceremony and have no plans of attending, even if every member of the family is pressuring me to do so, just to make me uncomfortable.
They find it hilarious that somehow I let myself become salutatorian, a horrible misstep on my part.
But I skip school because Edward loves me. It is something I've known for a very long time so really the amazing, awe inducing part is that he knows it too.
Ten months. That's all it took for the vampire version of my husband to remember what it's like to love the vampire version of me.
Nessie calls before she goes to bed, telling us enthusiastically all the amazing things she is doing in Seattle with her eight-grade class, far from the lame eyes of her watchful and loving parents.
She tells us she loves us before hanging up. We reply in kind, and then I tackle Edward because those words coming out of his mouth do something to me, each and every time.
Besides our nightly calls, we have absolutely no contact with anyone. My family leaves us alone. Even Alice. It's magic.
"When did you realize that you were in love with me?" Edward lies between my legs, his cheek resting against my ribs. My fingers play absently with his hair as I ponder his question.
"It's impossible to say," I finally reply. He sits slightly, looking me in the eye.
"Because those memories are fuzzy?" he asks, dropping a kiss on my belly and making me giggle.
"Well, yeah, I guess. But also because it is difficult to pinpoint a moment when my love for you changed into the romantic kind."
"What do you mean?"
"So there are lots of different kinds of love, right?"
He blinks at me. Great, I've totally lost him.
"The love I feel for Carlisle and the rest is very different from the love for you. There is a difference between a familial bond and the romantic love between spouses. And then the love I have for Ness, the parent child thing is a whole different ball game," I attempt to explain.
"So what are you saying?"
"I am saying that when we were young we were best friends, practically raised together. We grew up side by side, and I loved you then. Even before I really understood love, I knew you were mine and I wanted it to be that way. And then eventually, it just sort of happened. I was totally and irrevocably in love with you and I never stopped," I say, smiling softly at him.
He kisses my belly again. I giggle again.
"So you've loved me forever," he murmurs, lips moving against my skin. I tug on his hair, encouraging his actions. I bend my knee, laying my foot on the back of his calf and scooting down to get that much closer.
"That's exactly what I'm saying," I reply. "And it's the same for you. Even if you can't remember, it is just the same for you."
"Oh, I believe you. That feels true. I know it drives you crazy that I can't remember anything, but I don't think I really even need them for myself. You have them and I remember the feeling and that's that."
"That's that," I reply with a grin.
"You're my mate."
"Yes, that's me. The mate."
"And I'm your… husband."
I make a funny little sound, and Edward slithers up my body, his hands coming into my hair as he brings his face close to mine.
"Yeah, you are. You're my husband."
"And we love each other," he whispers against my lips.
"And we love each other," I repeat, my eyes flickering closed.
"And we've loved each other forever and we have the rest of eternity to keep it up."
I just nod as he finally kisses me because I truly have no words. For all the time I pretended to sleep and fantasized about a reality with this man, my imagination failed spectacularly in comparison with the real thing.
He kisses me dizzy, but even through my lust-fogged brain I hear my phone go off.
Edward groans, letting his head fall heavily against my collarbone. I let out a frustrated sound that is part growl and part laugh as I snag the device off the bedside table.
I see my sister's name on my screen and immediately panic.
"Rose," I whisper into the phone.
"Bella, oh my God." She is sobbing into the phone, truly hysterical. Edward sits up next to me, seeking out my wide-eyed gaze. "I am so sorry."
It is difficult to hear her words. The background noise makes me think she's running.
"Rose, what happened? Where's Vanessa?" I'm on my feet although I'm not sure how I got here. Edward stands in front of me, hands twitching at his sides as if he's not sure what do to with them.
"I don't know, Bella. I don't know! Jake's a mess, half his bones crushed. Six of them had Emmett and I pinned down in an alley. Six! Emmett lost an arm and she's gone!"
"Rosalie," I say in a tone so dangerous I almost don't recognize myself. "What are you saying?"
"She's gone. He took her."
And then the whole world seems to go black.
Yup, evil. I know. See you soon!