Earth shook. Ice cracked. Aro landed in the snow. He fell in two pieces.

A great shudder went through the Guard. The newborn snatched a torch from a fallen guard and brandished it at him. Bella was her name.

Aro had spoken to her of Bella, an unusual human who could block his telepathy. She would have made a nice addition to his collection.

His body caught fire. He burned.

Marcus was down. Caius' upper jaw lay feet from his fallen form. Jane's mangled remains spread across the snow.

And now Aro.

"Protect her," he'd said to the Guards.

They knew. It was their job whenever she set foot outside, which wasn't often. But then, they hadn't known what would happen.

It seemed strange that vampires didn't bleed. If they had, blood would have stained the ground. Instead, there were just pieces… icy fingers and heads littering the frosted banks.


Sulpica's eyes narrowed. Her upper lip lifted enough to reveal her teeth. Rage filled her as she watched her husband's body consumed by flames. She moved too fast for the others to stop her. "Protect her," Aro had said. He feared something would become of her, that she'd be killed. He'd never told them she could take care of herself. That's why he'd chosen her, a human without extraordinary powers other than cleverness and survival.

And anger.

One of the Guards cried out, but it was too late. Into the teeming mass of snarling teeth and flying snow she went. Wolves lunged at her and missed, her slap sending them colliding into one another.

Bella never saw her coming. Dark shapes convened against the newborn, and her shield couldn't protect her. The torch was torn from her fingers and cast into the snow. One Guard hit Bella so hard, she went down. He raised his fist until Sulpica snarled, then his head bowed slightly and he backed away.

Elsewhere, the newborn's husband was in a headlock. Snarls and snow filled the air.

Her cape swirled around her feet. Sulpica stopped. Bella scrambled up, eyes narrowed, dark hair falling against her ashen face.

Sulpica felt the shield go up. She smiled. Hers wasn't a talent of the mind. Shields didn't work against her. No, her talent was something else; something Aro admired; something that made her rage useful. It never clouded her mind. It cleared her judgment.

The vampire that had wooed her, seduced her, convinced her to become one of his kind, was no more. He'd worried so much for her that he'd not taken enough care with himself. It hadn't been a fair fight. In a fair fight, he'd have taken them both, as he'd done Carlisle.

Bella gauged her with care and then launched—recklessly, full of the same fury that had aided in bringing Aro to his knees. Her feet left the ground. Hair flew behind her. Long fingers stretched outward…

Bodies and heads flew in all directions behind her, as her Guards fought their way to her side. Caius' wife had fled.

Alice's head lifted. "No!" she screamed.

It was too late.

Sulpica did what she did best.

Bella fell. And she didn't get up again.

Edward's scream mirrored hers when she'd seen Aro killed, full of rage and grief. He snapped the neck of the Guard holding him and charged at her.

She let him come. She was Aro's assassin, after all.