BASED ON “New Moon” by Stephanie Meyer Chapter 1: Party “Alice, Bella said that she didn’t want her birthday to be celebrated. Why do you have to be so difficult?” I said to Alice as we walked out the front door to go to school. Today was Bella’s birthday. September thirteenth. She’s eighteen years old today. An age I would never be. An age I never made it to. Bella didn’t want to celebrate her birthday. As usual, Bella didn’t do the normal, human thing. Most humans loved birthdays and presents…. If I wasn’t in her life, she would probably love her birthday. The only reason she didn’t want to celebrate it was because she was turning a year older than me. She had a horrid fear of getting older because I couldn’t get older with her. I couldn’t grow and change with her. She would get older and older and I would forever be seventeen. Her physical appearance would continue to change as I stayed the same. But her mind, her personality, her warmth, and all the other things that I love about her would remain the same. She would still have those same, mesmerizing, chocolate brown eyes. Eyes that I always got lost in. And although I also wished that we could stay the same forever together, that meant dooming her to a fate that she did not deserve and so I would just have to suffer in silence. Her soul and her future are too important. We can’t change what is supposed to happen. I want her to be normal. As normal as Bella can possibly be. If that means staying with her as she continues to grow old, than that is exactly what I’m going to do. I would gladly stay with her as she ages. She would always be my Bella. She would always be beautiful to me. Inside and out. “Well, she is just going to have to deal with it Edward. This is her eighteenth birthday. This is a big day. It should be celebrated. She’s only going to turn eighteen once.” Alice said back to me, interrupting my reverie.

“But a party Alice! You’re already pushing it by bringing the gift you bought her to school. You already know how’s she’s going to react when she sees it.” This is her day. Even though she doesn’t want to celebrate it. I still want her to be happy today. Especially today. And Bella isn’t going to be very happy about this. But I can see Alice’s point. She will only turn eighteen once……… “Please, Edward. Please, please, please,” Alice pleaded. “…………..Ok, Alice, but don’t push her too hard. You know how you get when you want something and don’t get your way. Be gentle with her. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.” “You act like I’m going to tie her down and kidnap her. It’s just a party. A couple of hours. Geez, give me a break.” Alice said. I didn’t say anything else. I just threw her one last warning glance. She would know what it meant. ‘Ok, gentle, gentle I got it.’ Alice thought. We were pulling into the school parking lot now. Bella still wasn’t here yet, but I could hear her truck nearby. She would be here soon and I would be whole again. I missed her so much last night. I wanted to stay with her, but I needed to hunt. Especially since I wasn’t planning on letting her out of my sight today. It had been weeks since the last time I hunted. We spent every day together. We were practically inseparable. I hated being away from her. Not just because I was scared that something would happen to her, although that was definitely a concern, but because I just felt better….happier when I was near her. After that whole thing with James was over, I was overbearingly protective for awhile. I didn’t want her to be without my protection for a single second. This allowed so much time for us to be together. I thought that my protective nature would make her angry with me. But she didn’t seem to have a problem with it. She seemed to enjoy my company as much as I enjoyed hers. Out of all the summers that have passed in my lifetime, this past summer was by far the best I have ever experienced. And the fact that it was probably the rainiest summer the Olympic Peninsula has ever had didn’t hurt either. Although it wouldn’t have

mattered. The sun would never keep Bella and I apart, as it once had in the beginning. Bella loved me, vampire and all. My sparkling skin did not scare her. She actually thought it was beautiful. Typical Bella. Bella pulled into the parking lot and parked her truck. As soon as I saw her face, my lips turned up into an involuntary smile. I would never tire of her beautiful face. She smiled when she caught sight of me and then frowned as she saw that Alice was holding a gift in her hand beside me. Here we go. I had almost forgotten Alice was standing beside me. Alice skipped over to Bella to give her her present. I decided to stay behind to give them their space. “Happy birthday Bella” Alice said once she got to Bella. “Shh” Bella said in return. Glancing around the lot to make sure no one heard Alice mention her birthday. Bella hated to be the center of attention. “Do you want to open your present now or later?” Alice asked her while they made their way to where I was standing. She already knew Bella’s answer. “No presents” “Okay..” Alice said and then thought “ You’ll get more at the party anyway. This can wait until then”, “Later, then…… Did you like the scrapbook your mom sent you? And the camera from Charlie?” “Yeah. They’re great.” Bella said with no enthusiasm. “I think it’s a nice idea. You’re only a senior once. Might as well document the experience.” “How many times have you been a senior?” Bella asked Alice. “That’s different.” They finally made it to where I was and I held out my hand for Bella’s. It always surprised me how my cold skin never bothered her. Doesn’t repulse her as I thought it would. She was eager to hold it in hers. The warmth was always a pleasant feeling. I gently

squeezed her fingers, silently greeting her. She looked into my eyes and her heart started to flutter. I smiled at it. Even though I couldn’t read her mind, her heart always gave her away. I lifted my hand and ran my finger across her lips. These lips……….. “So, as discussed, I am not allowed to wish you a happy birthday, is that correct?” Bella had forbidden me to even mention her birthday. She didn’t want me to buy her anything. I wanted to get her a gift. Possibly a new car. I could never quite understand what she liked about that hideously slow truck. But the most important thing was what Bella wanted, and she didn’t want any money spent on her. So I agreed. But………she told me not to buy her a gift, not that I couldn’t give her a gift. I made her a CD of some of my favorite compositions. One of which was her lullaby. She loved to hear me play. I wish I could’ve bought a piano to put at her house so that I could play for her all the time. But I knew that was out of the question. Someday she would just have to accept other people taking care of her. Especially me. “Yes, that is correct” she said. “Just checking. You might have changed your mind. Most people seem to enjoy things like birthdays and gifts.” Bella was always the exception. She never acted like other humans. Alice laughed at my statement. “Of course you’ll enjoy it. Everyone is supposed to be nice to you today and give you your way, Bella. What’s the worst that could happen?” Alice was just joking, but Bella answered her anyway. “Getting older” Bella said. Her voice was unsteady as she said this. I tried to keep the smile on my face, but it was hard. I hated that getting older caused her so much pain. And it was all because of me. “Eighteen isn’t very old,” Alice said trying to comfort Bella. “Don’t women usually wait till they’re twenty-nine to get upset over birthdays? “It’s older than Edward,” Bella mumbled and I could hear the sadness in her voice. I sighed. I hated for being the reason for

making her so sad. What I wouldn’t give to be human with her and change and age as she did. “Technically. Just by one little year, though.” Alice said. Again trying to comfort her. ‘ Sorry Edward’ she thought. She knew how I hated for Bella to be sad. To be unhappy. It didn’t help Bella though. She was still sad, lost in thought. These were the times where I wished desperately that I could read her mind. When she was so quiet and thoughtful. I wished I knew what to say to comfort her, but I knew the only thing that would comfort her was if I changed my mind about changing her into a vampire so that she wouldn’t get any older. I would do anything for her, except that. So I just stayed quiet. Thankful, that Alice was there, because she changed the subject. “What time will you be at the house?” Great. This definitely wouldn’t make her feel better. “I didn’t know I had plans to be there.” Bella said, sounding a little skeptical, like she knew Alice had something up her sleeve. She was so perceptive. “Oh, be fair, Bella! You aren’t going to ruin all our fun like that are you?” “I thought my birthday was about what I want.” This would probably go on all day if I don’t jump in. “I’ll get her from Charlie’s right after school,” I told Alice, thinking that that would end the conversation. “I have to work,” Bella protested. Always so stubborn. Alice had already thought of this. “You don’t actually, I already spoke to Mrs. Newton about it. She’s trading your shifts. She said to tell you ‘Happy Birthday,’” “I-I still can’t come over. I, well, I haven’t watched Romeo and Juliet yet for English.” “You have Romeo and Juliet memorized.”

“ But Mr. Berty said we needed to see it performed to fully appreciate it- that’s how Shakespeare intended it to be presented.” Bella would come up with anything to keep from going to this party. I rolled my eyes. She did have the movie memorized. She could take that test today and pass it with flying colors. Alice wasn’t going to give up though. She was just as stubborn as Bella. “You’ve already seen the movie” “But not the nineteen-sixties version. Mr. Berty said it was the best.” Alice ,finally, lost her patience with Bella. “This can be easy, or this can be hard, Bella, but one way or the other-“ I interrupted her then. Not only was this starting to get on my nerves but she was ruining Bella’s birthday. And I specifically asked her to be gentle with Bella and not push too hard. That was exactly what she was doing. “Relax, Alice. If Bella wants to watch a movie, then she can. It’s her birthday.” “So there” Bella added, a little too smug. She probably thought I was going to let her miss the party. Even though Alice was taking this whole birthday thing too far, I did understand what she meant about Bella not missing anything. I, too, didn’t want her missing anything. “I’ll bring her over around seven. That will give you more time to set up.” I told Alice. Alice laughed. Pleased that she was getting her way. ‘She’ll love it Edward. Don’t worry’ Alice thought to me before she spoke. “Sounds good. See you tonight Bella! It’ll be fun, you’ll see.” Alice kissed Bella on the cheek and then headed off to class before Bella could say anything else. Bella turned to look at me with a pleading expression. “Edward, please-“ she started. I put my finger to her lips to silence her protest.

“Let’s discuss it later. We’re going to be late for class.” I told her as I led her to our first class. I was able to get the administrators to rearrange my class schedule so that we had almost every class together. All of Bella’s admirers didn’t like that too much. Especially Mike Newton. He would just smile at Bella now to make her think that he had accepted our relationship. I knew better. He still secretly wished that I would fall off a cliff so that he could comfort Bella in her time of need. He even changed his looks that mimicked my own. Of course he couldn’t pull it off, but I guess he gets points for the effort. We had to die to be beautiful, beautiful to humans anyway………wait, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea. If he wants to look like me, maybe I could kill him………… Bella seemed to relax as the day progressed. I told Alice not to mention her birthday again so she didn’t. I’m pretty sure Bella was thinking of ways to try to get out of the party. I would tell Alice later to drive the Volvo home. I would ride with Bella to keep her from trying to escape. Not that she could, but I’m sure she would try anyway. Rosalie, Jasper, and Emmett were pretending to be off at college, so that left just Alice and I stuck in high school. We were pretending to be seniors this year. Now we sat at Bella’s table with all of her friends. They sat at the opposite end of course, but that didn’t bother us. We were used to humans being repelled by us. I still didn’t understand why Bella wasn’t afraid to be so close to us. It was like she had no fight or flight reflexes. No instinct in her body warning of the danger. I wouldn’t complain though. As long as she didn’t mind being close to me, I was happy. School went by quickly. I walked Bella to her truck and held the passenger door open for her. She folded her arms and didn’t move. Of course, she would be difficult. “It’s my birthday, don’t I get to drive?” she asked. “I’m pretending it’s not your birthday, just as you wished.” “If it’s not my birthday, then I don’t have to go to your house tonight…….”

“All right……. Happy birthday,” I said. I shut the passenger door and walked past her to open the driver’s side. “Shh” she whispered and got into the truck. While she drove, I decided to throw a hint about her needing a new radio. I knew that Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper got her a new radio for her truck. She needed one. She needed a whole new car, but I guess I would have to settle for the radio. At lease she can’t take the radio back. Once it’s installed. And Alice will make sure to have Emmett install it first so that she can’t take it back. “Your radio has horrible reception,” I told her, shaking my head while I was searching through the stations. She frowned. I knew she hated it when I picked on her truck. “You want a nice stereo? Drive your own car. “ It took everything in me to keep from laughing. She said that with a sharp tone, which only meant that she was nervous. Probably about the party. She always worried about the wrong things. I know how to make her forget her worries, though. We were in front of Charlie’s house now and I reached over to touch her face. I pressed the tips of my fingers softly against her temples, her cheekbones, and her jaw line. Always keeping in mind how fragile she was. I could never make a mistake with her. “You should be in a good mood, today of all days,” I whispered to her. “And what if I don’t want to be in a good mood?” It was working already because her breathing was uneven. Which in turn did strange things to me… “Too bad.” I said and leaned in to kiss her. I loved kissing Bella. Her lips were always so warm and soft. My mouth lingered on hers. I hated to stop but it was always necessary. I was always as eager as she was to continue the kiss but she always made my self-control worse by getting a little too carried away. She wrapped her arms around my neck and threw more of herself into

the kiss, as she always did. I wanted to keep going as much as she did. And keep going still……. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t lose control. And so I always had to be the one to stop. I let go of her face and unlocked her arms from around my neck. “Be good, please.” I whispered against her cheek. I kissed her one more time and then, forced myself, to pull away. Her heart sounded like it was about to pound out of her chest. If my heart could beat, it would undoubtedly be beating out of my chest too. “Do you think I’ll ever get better at this? That my heart my someday stop trying to jump out of my chest whenever you touch me?” she wondered. “I really hope not” I told her. I loved when her heart fluttered like that. The sound of her heart was the most significant sound in my world. I couldn’t bear not hearing it. I’ve been doing everything in my power to make sure it keeps beating! She just rolled her eyes at me. “Let’s go watch the Capulets and Montagues hack each other up, all right?” “Your wish, my command.” I went and laid across her couch while she started the movie. After she fast-forwarded through the opening credits, she sat on the edge of the sofa in front of me. She should’ve known I wasn’t having that. I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her against my chest. I pulled the blanket off of the back of the couch to wrap her in it while she laid against my chest. I wanted her as close as she could get to me but I didn’t want her to freeze against my cold skin.. “You know, I’ve never had much patience with Romeo,” I told her while the movie started. He was a very complicated character. “What’s wrong with Romeo” she asked. She sounded a little offended. She loved the classics. “Well, first of all, he’s in love with Rosaline-don’t you think it makes him seem a little fickle? And then, a few minutes after their

wedding, he kills Juliet’s cousin. That’s not very brilliant. Mistake after mistake. Could he have destroyed his own happiness any more thoroughly?” I said to her. I really didn’t see the draw to the story. I never understood why it became so popular. So epic. Bella sighed. “Do you want me to watch this alone?” she said. “No..” I told her. “I’ll mostly be watching you, anyway. Will you cry?” I asked her while I traced pattern on her arms. “Probably, if I’m paying attention” she said. “I won’t distract you then.” I told her and kissed her hair. As we watched the movie, I whispered some of Romeo’s lines in Bella’s ears. I had to admit, although I didn’t understand Romeo, he really did have some great lines. I thought Bella was joking when she said that she would cry, so when she did, it made me smile. I never understood it when women cried over something they saw on a movie or on television. They know it’s not real. But they cry anyway. And Bella has seen this movie countless times, and it still makes her cry. “I’ll admit, I do sort of envy him here” I said to her, wiping her tears with a lock of her hair. “She’s very pretty” Bella said. Did she really think that I would envy him the girl? Especially when she was sitting right here in my arms. “I don’t envy him the girl-just the ease of the suicide” I told her. And then I teased her, “You humans have it so easy! All you have to do is throw down a vile of plant extracts….” It surprised me when she gasped, “What?” “It’s something I had to think about once, and I knew from Carlisle’s experience that it wouldn’t be simple. I’m not even sure how many ways Carlisle tried to kill himself in the beginning….. after he realized what he’d become….” My voice had become serious and I didn’t even realize it. I didn’t want to upset her. I tried to make my voice light again, “And he’s clearly in excellent health.”

She twisted around in my arms with a frown on her face, “What are you talking about? “ she demanded. She was angry. “What do you mean, this is something you had to think about once?” “Last spring, when you were…..nearly killed….” It was hard, even now, with her safe and alive in my arms, to think about when I almost lost her last spring. At the hands of another vampire. That was one of the worst experiences in my life. Not knowing whether Bella would be alive when I got to her. I took a deep breath and tried to regain my tone. “Of course I was trying to focus on finding you alive, but part of my mind was making contingency plans. Like I said, it’s not as easy for me as it is for a human.” I could tell she was remembering what happened too. She started to trace the place on her wrist where James had bitten her. It made me angry again as I remembered how close he had gotten. Bella shook her head, trying to make the memory disappear, I guessed, and asked “Contingency plans? “Well, I wasn’t going to live without you.” Did she think I would just move on with my life without her? What a ridiculous idea! I continued, “But I wasn’t sure how to do it- I knew Emmett and Jasper would never help……” they would stop me if they even knew what I was thinking of doing. “So I was thinking maybe I would go to Italy and do something to provoke the Volturi.” They would surely find some way to get the job done if I caused any kind of trouble. In that instance, she was furious, outraged, “What is a Volturi?” she demanded. “The Volturi are a family. A very old, very powerful family of our kind. They are the closest thing our world has to a royal family, I suppose. Carlisle lived with them briefly in his early years, in Italy, before he settled in America-do you remember the story?” I asked. I had told her this the first time she came to my house to meet my family. “Of course I remember.” “Anyway, you don’t irritate the Volturi, not unless you want to dieor whatever it is that we do.”

Her face turned from anger to horror as she took my face in her hands and held it tight, well as tight as she could, “You must never, never, never think of anything like that again. No matter what might ever happen to me, you are not allowed to hurt yourself!” she said, with her kitten like anger. “I’ll never put you in danger again, so it’s a moot point.” “Put me in danger!”, she yelled. Always so forgiving. She never thought I did anything wrong. She was too good for me. But I knew, without a doubt, that it was my fault. “I thought we’d established that all the bad luck is my fault? How dare you even think like that?” “What would you do, if the situation were reversed?” I asked her. “That’s not the same thing” Her response made me laugh. I didn’t see the difference. She continued when I didn’t say anything. “What if something did happen to you? Would you want me to go off myself?” she asked. The thought of anything happening to Bella, even if I was already dead, was still painful. “I guess I see your point……a little. But what would I do without you?” I asked her. It seems like I didn’t even have a life until I met Bella. Going back to a time without her was unbearable to even think about, let alone have to live it. “Whatever you were doing before I came along and complicated your existence.” She said as if it were that simple. I sighed “You make that sound so easy.” “It should be. I’m not really that interesting.” She said. There is no way that she would ever see herself clearly. She is, by far, the most interesting person I have ever met. And it takes a lot to capture my interest. I was about to explain that to her, but I decided against it. “Moot point” I said. And then I heard Charlie’s cruiser coming down the street. I sat up and shifted Bella to the side so that we weren’t touching anymore. It drove Charlie mad

when he saw us touching. I needed to borrow Bella for the evening and I didn’t want to give him a reason to say no. “Charlie?” Bella guessed. I smiled to answer her question. After a moment, we both heard the sound of Charlie’s cruiser pull into the driveway. As we did, Bella took my hand into hers. She was determined to make her dad deal with our relationship whether he wanted to or not. Even though I didn’t like her starting anything with her dad, especially over me, it made me feel good when she grabbed my hand. Like she was proud to have me at her side. Charlie walked in with pizza. He glanced at our hands for a split second, Bella didn’t catch him. ‘What does she see in this guy? I don’t care what any of them say, I still hold him responsible for what happened last spring’ Charlie thought. “Hey kids,” he said grinning, only to Bella. “I thought you’d like a break from cooking and washing dishes for your birthday. Hungry?” “Sure. Thanks, Dad.” Bella said. They went into the kitchen to eat. I passed on dinner, as I always did, and watched television until they got finished. When they came back into the living room, I turned to Charlie, “Do you mind if I borrow Bella for the evening?” I asked him. Bella looked at Charlie liked she was hoping he would say no. He disappointed her. “That’s fine-the Mariners are playing the Sox tonight, so I won’t be any kind of company……here” he grabbed the camera Bella’s mom bought for her and threw it to her. Of course she missed it, but I caught it before it hit the floor. “Nice save,” Charlie said. “If they’re doing something fun at the Cullens’ tonight, Bella, you should take some pictures. You know how your mother gets-she’ll be wanting to see the pictures faster than you can take them.” “Good idea Charlie” I said as I gave the camera to Bella. When I gave it to her, she turned it on me and took a picture. “It works” she said.

“That’s good. Hey, say hi to Alice for me. She hasn’t been over in a while,” Charlie said. He loved Alice like she was his own daughter. He had been very grateful for Alice for helping Bella after her “accident”. I have to admit, I was a little jealous that Charlie didn’t like me as much as he liked Alice. I wanted him to accept me. I wanted him to know the truth. That I had actually saved his daughter’s life. But of course, he couldn’t know that.“It’s been three days, Dad. I’ll tell her” Bella told him. “Okay, you kids have fun tonight.” He was anxious to watch his game. I have never seen anybody watch sports as much as Charlie did. I smiled, thankful that he loved sports so much. Because otherwise he might have wanted his daughter all to himself on her birthday. I smiled at my victory, took Bella’s hand, and pulled her from the kitchen. I opened the passenger door for her when we got to her truck. She didn’t argue as she did earlier. Probably because she could never find the turnoff to my house. Driving her truck was like torture. It was so slow. I tried to make it go faster. The engine groaned louder as I tried to force it to go past the speed limit. “Take it easy” Bella told me. “You know what you would love? A nice little Audi coupe. Very quiet, lots of power….” And able to go above fifty, I thought to myself. “There’s nothing wrong with my truck. And speaking of expensive nonessentials, if you know what’s good for you, you didn’t spend any money on birthday presents.” “Not a dime” I said, but that reminded me. The others did spend money on her. I didn’t want her to hurt their feelings. They are all really excited about this party. “Good” “Can you do me a favor?” “That depends on what it is.”

I sighed. She could never make anything easy. My face turned serious. “Bella, the last real birthday any of us had was Emmett in 1935. Cut us a little slack, and don’t be too difficult tonight. They’re all very excited.” “Fine, I’ll behave.” She said. I forgot to tell her that Emmett and Rosalie came back home for her birthday. “I probably should warn you…..” I said. “Please do.” “When I say they’re all excited…..I do mean all of them.” “Everyone? I thought Emmett and Rosalie were in Africa.” Bella said. “Emmett wanted to be here.” Emmett thought of Bella as the little sister he always wanted. And he also thought she was hilarious. Because she was so clumsy. “But……Rosalie? “I know, Bella. Don’t worry, she’ll be on her best behavior.” Rosalie was the only one who never warmed up to Bella. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from Rosalie. Everyone else loved Bella. That is enough. It was quiet for a moment. Bella was probably thinking about Rosalie. I decided to change the subject. “So if you won’t let me get you the Audi, isn’t there anything that you’d like for your birthday?” “You know what I want.” She whispered. I did know what she wanted. Something that I could not bear to let happen. She wanted to be a vampire. I really didn’t want to have this conversation tonight. Why did I have to change the subject. “Not tonight, Bella. Please” “Well, maybe Alice will give me what I want.” Why was she so determined to be a soulless creature. A growl escaped from me before I knew it. She was very creative when she was determined to do something. Alice,………. as a matter of fact all of them,

except Rosalie of all people, thought that it would be better if Bella were one of us. Especially since that was what she thought she wanted. It felt weird to have Rosalie agree with me. We didn’t agree on anything. “This isn’t going to be your last birthday Bella”. My tone was a little harsher than I intended it to be, but the subject made me so angry. “That’s not fair!”, she yelled. My teeth clenched together to keep myself from getting angrier. We were pulling up to the house. Perfect timing. Alice had overdid it. As always. She always went overboard when she organized parties. Of course this would be no exception. There were bright lights shining from every window on all the floors except for my floor, Japanese lanterns hung from the porch, and big bowls of flowers lined the stairs on the front porch. I heard Bella moan as she took in all of Alice’s decorations. I took deep breaths to calm myself from the previous conversation. “This is a party. Try to be a good sport.” “Sure” she said. I went around to get her door and offered my hand to help her out. As she took my hand, she said “I have a question.” I just waited, until she asked her question. “If I develop this film, will you show up in the picture.” She said, playing with the camera in her hands. At that, I had to laugh. I helped her out of the car and pulled her up the stairs. Still laughing. We opened the door and they were all waiting in the living room for us. As we walked through the door, they all yelled ‘Happy Birthday Bella’. Bella blushed. Inside the house, roses were everywhere. There was a table next to my grand piano covered with a white table cloth. On top of it were more roses, plates, Bella’s presents, and a pink cake. Cake? Plates? What was Alice thinking? That we were actually going to eat the cake. What? So we would all just have to throw it up later?

‘I see you looking at the cake, Edward. We’re not going to try to eat it. It’s just decoration. Geez.” I half-smiled at her, but I could sense the tension rolling off of Bella. I wrapped my arm around her waist and kissed the top of her head to reassure her that everything is okay. Esme came then and hugged her and then Carlisle. “Sorry about this Bella. We couldn’t rein Alice in” He said to Bella. Knowing how she hated the spotlight. Emmett’s lips stretched into a huge grin when he looked at Bella. It was easy to tell that he missed her. She missed him too. “You haven’t changed at all. I expected a perceptible difference, but here you are, red-faced just like always.” Emmett teased. “Thanks a lot, Emmett” Bella said, blushing even more. Emmett laughed at her. “I have to step out for a second.” He winked at Alice, then said “Don’t do anything funny while I’m gone.” “I’ll try”, Bella said. Alice skipped over to Bella and grabbed her elbow, “time to open presents”, she said and pulled Bella toward the table. “Alice, I know I told you I didn’t want anything-“ Bella said, but Alice interrupted her. “But I didn’t listen. Open it.” Bella was still holding her camera in her hands, so Alice took it and handed Bella Rosalie, Emmett, and Jasper’s present. The radio that Emmett was installing outside as we speak. Alice gave Bella the empty box that the radio came out of. Bella opened it and looked at it like she was waiting for the punch line. “Um……thanks” she said. She even made Rosalie crack a smile. Jasper just laughed at her. He was still a little uncomfortable around her. Alice explained to Bella what it was. “It’s a stereo for your truck. Emmett’s installing it right now so that you can’t return it.” “Thanks Jasper, Rosalie” Bella said grinning. She threw a quick glance at me and then started smiling. She must be remembering

when I was talking about her stereo earlier today. It must have clicked that it was all a setup. So perceptive. “Thanks Emmett!” Bella called out loud, as if he couldn’t hear her even if she whispered. Emmett started laughing and that made her laugh too. “Open mine and Edward’s next,” Alice said to her. Bella tuned to glare at me, “You promised.” I was about to answer right before Emmett came running through the door. He was anxious to see Bella blush once she opened the rest of the gifts. “Just in time,” Emmett said. “I didn’t spend a dime,” I reassured her. I brushed a strand of hair from her face. I don’t understand why it was so important that I didn’t spend any money on a gift for her. I would have loved to get her something really nice or take her to a really nice restaurant. But she was so stubborn. She took a deep breath and turned to face Alice as if she were facing a death sentence or something. “Give it to me,” she said and then sighed. It’s moments like these that I would love to be able to hear what she’s thinking. Emmett laughed at her reluctance. She grabbed the package out of Alice’s hands and while rolling her eyes at me for getting her something, even thought I didn’t spend any money, she stuck her finger under the edge of the paper and gave herself a paper cut. Right then, even though I wasn’t even paying attention to Jasper’s thoughts, I heard what went through his head. And I saw his actions in Alice’s foresight. The same thing that went through mine the first day I smelled Bella’s blood. He wasn’t Jasper anymore. He was a vampire. Through and through. He had no self-control. And didn’t care to try to restrain himself. All he saw was red. All he wanted was her blood. “Shoot,” I heard Bella say when the paper sliced her finger. A drip of blood dropped from her hand and that sent Jasper over the edge. “NO!” I yelled. I threw myself over to where Bella was standing and pushed her out of Jasper’s sight. I used too much force to push her back and she went flying across the table. The table fell with her, including the cake, present, the flowers, and the plates,

which shattered as they hit the floor. Bella fell into the shattered glass which made everything ten times worse. She held her arms out to try to catch her fall, but ended up scraping them in the shattered glass which made her bleed even more. Jasper slammed into me in an attempt to get to her. I loved my brother and I know he can’t help himself, but there is no way I’m going to let him get to her. No way. If I had to, I would kill him before he got any closer. Snarls were creeping out of his chest as he continued to try to shove past me. Jasper began snapping his teeth inches from my face. If he continued, this would not end good. It’s like Emmett read my mind, out of nowhere he grabbed Jasper in a steel grip. Jasper continued to struggle to get free, even then. His eyes were wild, excited, thirsty, and focused only on Bella. My world. My life. He was determined to get to her. To drink her blood. What a terrible situation. This has gone too far. I stood there, hands spread protectively in front of Bella. No one was getting past me. They would have to kill me and tear me to shreds before they got to her. It was now me against my family. This is what it has come to. I wanted to turn around to look at Bella, to see if she was ok. But there was no way I was going to get caught off guard. I heard all of their thoughts. I knew that they weren’t going to do anything to her. Except for Jasper. But they were all ravenous for her blood. All of their eyes were excited. But they controlled themselves. Still I wasn’t taking any chances. In that moment, it was me against them. We were no longer the Cullen family. We had separated that quickly. They were bloodthirsty vampires and I was standing in the way of their prey. It was going to be either me or them. PLEASE REVIEW!!!! PLEASE REVIEW!!! TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!!!!!

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