Special thanks to my long suffering beta GeekChick12ff and my poor beta who teeter on the edges of all my cliffs.


Bella and Edward shared a kiss in the rain. Edward hears a noise and then some, and races back to Aunt Tilly's with Bella to find three sinister hooded figures. Some words are exchanged and Jasper requests a little less conversation and a little more action.

Jasper moved forward as a horrible, deathly calm seemed to pause everything around us. Time was standing still, but the only people not affected were Edward and Jasper. I wanted to turn my head, wanted to move my legs, but I couldn't. It was like I was stuck, rooted to the spot in a vat of invisible mud. I watched in horrified wonder as they attacked the three hooded figures in front of us. They were slow to respond but managed to break free of the invisible weight around us.

Edward and Jasper were blurs of motion mingling with the dark blurs of the visitors. I felt my insides recoil as I remembered the scene in the basement of the parking garage; the fight was like watching a movie with a strobe light on.

At one point I saw Edward grab for the figure he'd called Demetrius. The hood fell backwards, and my breath caught in my throat as I stared into the face I knew so well from my nightmares. He was still just as handsome, his face still beguiling, but his dark eyes were crimson now. I wanted to scream but couldn't find my voice.

The third figure got in the middle of Edward and Demetrius, and while Edward was momentarily distracted, Demetrius's eyes locked with mine. Jake's low growl turned into a snarl, and the fur on his back rose up as he snapped his teeth in warning.

It was so fast, I wasn't ready for it. Demetrius picked Jake up and threw him several feet away. I looked behind me where his body landed. That strange paused feeling washed over me, but Demetrius moved forward as if wading through mud, his gaze intent on me, his movements determined.

His cold hands reached for me, and his awful voice was in my ear.

"I wonder if you still know how to do that wonderful thing with your mouth." He leaned forward and licked my skin. His cold fingers harshly squeezed my arms until I was afraid the bones would break.

"You are as delicately fragile as I remember. It will be good to have something to play with again."

I was jerked forward as Demetrius was torn away from me. The outline of Edward's shape danced before me. I could hear his snarls and Demetrius's answering growls as they fought. I shut my eyes, wishing I could also shut my ears.

The fight that seemed to go on and on was over in minutes. There was a burst of sound, like wind suddenly blowing past. My hair blew into my face, and when I looked up, the view in front of us was clear.

I lifted my hand to move my hair out of my face and almost hit myself. The weighted feeling was gone. "Where did they go?"

"To burn the pieces." Aunt Tilly's voice was almost devoid of emotion.

I turned to look at her. She stood quietly, watching a space off in the woods. I studied her, my eyes drinking in her calm features. There was no shock or fear on her face from what just happened.

"Bella-Marie, you go on in the house if you want to. I'll follow you in shortly. Jake is around if you need someone. Just holler." She started in the direction she was staring at.

"Where are you going?"

She didn't turn around as she answered. "I need to talk to Edward."

I nodded. If I was honest with myself, I wanted to be alone for a moment. My mind was spinning, and I could still feel his touch.

I went into the house and up the stairs, not even realizing I was in my room until I was standing there. All I could hear was Demetrius's voice in my ear and feel his tongue on my cheek. I tried to shut it out, but it wouldn't stop. I stripped off in the bathroom and turned the water on. Shivering, I stepped into the shower, and the hot water punished my skin. Leaning my back against the cool tiles, I slid to the shower floor, the spray continuing to beat down on me, soaking my hair against my face.

Clearing my hair out of my eyes, I watched the water flow towards the drain, circling before gurgling down. I tried to pinpoint exactly what I was feeling, but it was all so much at once.

Fear from seeing that face again.

Guilt for allowing myself to be so weak in front of him again.

Anger for what was possibly something premeditated against me and why no one had chosen to fill me in on what I was sooner.

Most of all, it was shame that overwhelmed me. Shame for all the things I had done to get what I wanted.

My mind replayed his voice, and I gagged as I heard it.

I wonder if you still know how to do that wonderful thing with your mouth.

I stood up suddenly and grabbed for the loofah and soap. I attacked my skin, scrubbing until I was red, until I was raw, but it still didn't feel like enough.

How did my father ever stand a chance against these monsters?

How would I?

And what else didn't I know?

I came out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel and listened to see if anyone was downstairs. The house was totally silent.

"Aunt Tilly?"

When there was no answer, I continued to my room. I opened the door and gasped softly.

Edward stood there, still in his damp jeans and t-shirt. They clung to him, defining every hollow, every rise and dip that his undying, perfect body had. But it was his face that held me most. His features were wild, his nostrils flared, his eyes feral.

He looked...hungry.

I tried to recover, swallowed the lump in my throat, and clutched at my towel. "You have got to stop doing that."

"Doing what?" His voice was low, too quiet, like thunder that was far off in the distance.

"Creeping around my room while I'm in the shower."

He stood still, not a twitch of movement from him except his eyes, which devoured me from head to toe. My mind flashed to that moment his lips crushed mine in the downpour.

My damp hair dripped down my back, and all I wanted was to be changed into something and lie in bed to think. When Edward made no move to leave, I crossed my arms over my chest.

"Do you mind?"

There was a pause before he responded. "Do I mind what?"

"Really? Are we going to have this discussion again? Must you be so awkward?" I shifted my weight and put my hands on my hips.

He angled his chin the way a bird would as it studied something unidentifiable. "Awkward?"

"Yes! You! Mr. Awkward! Mr. Perpetual Personal Space Invader!"

I blinked and he was standing so close to me, if I breathed in, he would breathe out.

I released a shuddering breath. "Edward, please. Please don't do this right now. After all of that out there, I need some space. Please."

His hand reached up, and his fingers touched my cheek. His voice was low as his eyes followed where his fingers touched. "He could have killed you. He almost did. I could rip him apart all over again when I think about him touching you."

My breath hitched at his words, and I moved my cheek away from his hand. "Edward, I—"

"You are so fragile but so dangerous, Isabella Swan." His hand moved to my neck, delicately stroking down to my collarbone.

I shivered as my name was formed on those perfect lips. I was staring at his mouth now and remembering exactly how he tasted.

I swallowed. "What do you want?"

He leaned forward then, getting even closer to me. His face inched closer to my neck, and I felt his cool nose graze my throat. Then his lips were at my ear.


Thank you for reading.