Vampire Heart.

DC: I don't own it Summary: AU. The vampires have taken over and the humans are their slaves. After the murder of their father and the rape of their mother, Bella and Alice are taken to the Center where they are to be sold to the highest bidder. On a lazy afternoon Edward comes in with Jasper and Emmett to get his first human. He is intrigued by the mental silence and rebellious attitude of Bella and decides to take her home so that he can figure her out, not fully understand what that will lead to, as he begins to slowly fall more and more in love with the girl who has sworn to hate him and his kind forever. ExB JxA For those who read Collide, the rules about the vampires are the same. They are born, not made and from the age of infancy to about twenty they sleep but it decreases as the years go by from constantly as an infant to about an hour or two every couple of weeks. Same for very old vampires only in reverse order. The more a vampire sleeps as an adult, the closer they are to finally dying. WARNINGS: STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT INCLUDING RAPE VIOLENCE AND LANGUAGE Chapter 1, Bella knew that she was lucky. To have two parents who loved her was more than anyone like her could ask for and yet she knew she was doubly blessed to still have her freedom. She looked up at the ceiling and knew that even though she couldn't see the stars, she was truly blessed. Her best friend and sister laid next to her. Alice wasn't always her sister, but when they found her with no memory of who she was or where she came from, her soft hearted parents took her with them. Every night the two girls would go to sleep in the same small bed with their hands clasped tight. In the bed just a few feet away, her parents slept. Renee laid in her husband's protective arms and each night they thanked whatever god was watching over them, that they had each other. Bella was human. That was how she couldn't hate the lumpy pile of straw that was hardly a bed, or the thin soups and stale bread she ate when she could. When her parents wished for a better life for her and Alice and apologized for failing, Bella reminded them that they had their freedom. They weren't property of the bloodsuckers. On the cold nights of winter, when their underground home was cooler, they would huddle together, a small family but a happy one. Nobody appreciated the freedom they had more than Renee and Charlie. When Alice and Bella had been younger their parents showed them their marks. Burns in their skin showing their status as a piece of property. When she was thirteen, Renee had been selected by an elderly vampire and taken to live as a pet. The old woman who bought her wasn't the terrible one. It was her son. A vile and disgusting vampire who would rape and beat her on a daily basis. She had scars on her body from where he dug his nails into her skin and broken bones that hadn't healed properly, giving her arms some lumps. But the worst of the physical damage was in her eyes. At one time Renee had the same dark eyes her daughter had, deep and full of curiosity and hope. Now they were dead and held more pain that Bella could even imagine. Her father wasn't much better. Blind in his right eye from a vampire's rage and scared from tortures. His eye held the same sadness and pain. There was no other one. A long red scar covered his left eye and it had been sewn shut when his vampire owner had grown tired of seeing the empty socket. They had been lucky to escape. Renee was smart and quick and stole away into the night when her owner was sleeping and her tormentor was out with his friends. Charlie escaped during a brawl between his owner and a friend. When he met Renee she took his breath away with her beauty. She looked upon him and he felt ashamed of his disfigured face. She loved him from the moment she saw him. Bella would notice to this day that when she looked at him, his heart would flutter and his breath would catch. He was the most handsome man in the world

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in her eyes. --They came without warning. Bella opened her eyes and was looking into hungry red ones. "Hello little girl," the vampire purred, stroking her cheek. Bella screamed and realized that he wasn't the only one. She and Alice were pulled to their feet and thrown into a pair of icy stone arms. "MOM! DAD!" Alice screamed. The vampires had already descended upon their parents. "Looks like some fugitives," one, a blonde vampire with black eyes said to his friends. "Look, someone got his eye." Charlie kicked the vampire and in his surprise he dropped him. The kick was useless. The vampire recovered instantly and grabbed him. Bella and Alice looked in horror as their father tried to get to them but was stopped when the blond vampire sank his teeth into his neck. "I needed a good snack," he growled, throwing Charlie aside as if he was nothing. There wasn't a drop of blood left in him. Scarlet was already beginning to fill the vampire's eyes. "Look at this one," his friend, a man with rust colored hair said with quite a bit of humor in his voice. "NO! LEAVE US ALONE!" Renee screamed. Bella winced as she heard the sound of ripping fabric. "Which one will it be mother dear?" the red head asked. "You or one of your lovely succulent daughters?" "PLEASE NO! LEAVE MY GIRLS!" "As you wish," the vampire purred. Alice turned her head away and tried not to cry. The vampire holding her grabbed her head and forced her to watch. "Don't worry pixie," the third vampire purred, "he'll give you your turn next." Bella watched as the fourth vampire held her head. Renee wouldn't look towards them. They watched as the vampire roughly had his way, clawing her naked breasts and biting her, tasting her blood. "Your are almost as delicious as you feel," he growled in a husky voice that sent shivers down Bella's spine. "This one smells the sweetest," the fourth vampire said, Bella felt the tip of his cold nose on her neck as he inhaled her scent. "Never been used," he purred, "her blood is perfectly clean." "Virgins huh?" the vampire holding Alice laughed. He tossed some of his sandy hair from his eyes. "Guess we'll just have to leave them. They'll pay a high price for untouched girls, especially ones that smell this delicious." Bella snapped. She snapped her head back into the vampire's neck and kicked back into his groin. "LET HER GO!" She screamed at the red head. She threw herself onto his back and tugged on him. It did absolutely no good and he didn't even break his violent thrusts to throw Bella to his blonde friend.

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"You're a little pistol aren't you?" the blonde teased. He licked her neck. "Even her skin has a good flavor." She swung around and the vampire caught her hand. He smelled her wrist and licked her skin. "A pretty thing like you will fetch a high price. Shame, we'll just have to share your mother. We can't give up the money you two virgins will bring." "YOU WONT' GET ANYTHING!" Bella screamed, "WE'RE NOT YOUR PROPERTY!" "Damn she's feisty," the vampire that had been holding her before said. Bella looked at him with fierce eyes. He smirked and ran a hand through his pitch black hair. "I'll bet you've never been touched by anyone." "Don't damage her," the blonde warned, "you'll ruin her value." "I won't damage her," the dark haired one purred. He touched Bella's throat and she jerked away from his icy touch. "I just want to see." Bella jerked again as his cold tongue ran along the vein in her neck. He grabbed the front of her tattered shirt and ripped it a little. Bella squirmed as his icy hand touched her breast. She felt the sick disgusted feelings rush through her body. "Soft, and supple. How such a lovely creature can come from two ugly bloodbags is beyond me." "Let me have my turn." Bella didn't know who said the words but she assumed it was the vampire holding Alice. There was a brief struggle and a slap and Alice fell back with blood on her lips. Bella looked over, horrified, as the red head leaned down and licked the blood from her lips. "She isn't theirs, her blood doesn't taste the same. Adopted probably." "Whatever works," the blonde said, not caring either way. Bella saw that the red head wasn't satisfied with his turn with her mother. He grabbed Alice by the hair. "Now be a good girl and open wide." "DONT'!" Bella yelled. "Can one of you please shut that stupid bitch up? She's getting on my nerves, and you down there, get to it. If I'm not satisfied and pleasured than my sense of mercy tends to slip." Alice looked away and bit her lip. What choice did she have? He made up her mind by thrusting hard into her mouth anyway. Bella heard her sister gag and choke and the vampire laughed. "I guess you're too big for her, eh?" "I guess so. I fit just fine in her mother, loose slut." Bella made to fight again but the dark haired vampire held her jaw tight. "Now listen to me and listen well," he murmured, "if you want your mother to live you will behave yourself like a good little pet, and if you don't quiet down, well, we can always find something to occupy that little mouth of yours." "You disgusting pig," Bella spat. The vampire laughed and dragged Bella to his friend and Renee.

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"Mother dear, your little girl seems to think that I am a disgusting pig," he said. Bella felt a wave of nausea wash over her as she saw Renee. The smell of her blood was overpowering. Streams of white covered her chest and her crotch was bruised and bleeding. "No," she moaned, "please..." "Take it easy there tiger, she has to last at least two more." "Mother dear tell your little darling to mind her manners." "Bella..." "Mom don't listen to them!" "Oh damn I got some in her hair!" "Do you want your family to survive?" the vampire asked her. Bella didn't respond. She wouldn't. She wouldn't give them the satisfaction of begging when she knew they were going to kill her and her family anyway. "Yes, yes she does!" Renee cried, "Please Bella!" Bella closed her eyes. Her mother made up her mind for her. She knew what horrors awaited. She felt his icy fingers on her cheeks again. "So pretty," he murmured in her ear, "if you weren't so valuable I'd show you what a real man feels like." He threw her to her sister and Alice felt for her hand. Bella grabbed it and the two girls sat in silence while the vampires decided what to do with them. --It had been a long time since Bella had seen the sun. She and Alice sat quietly in the back of the truck. Renee laid beside them, broken and exhausted. She had finished bleeding and her body was recovering. She was in too much pain to move. She could only look at her daughter's with guilty eyes, ashamed to let them down. "Girls..." she rasped, "Bella..." "Don't speak mom," Bella said gently, "you need to rest." Renee held her hand weakly. "I love you girls." "We love you too," Alice promised. She held onto Renee's other hand and they both hugged their knees. "Where are we going?" "To the Center most likely." Bella squeezed Alice's hand tight before she could ask what the Center was. Whatever it was, she didn't want to know. ---

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"C'mon hurry up," the dark vampire growled as he pulled on their chains. He walked them into a massive building with white walls and few windows. Bella looked over at Alice who looked as curious as she did, and then at Renee who had gone as pale as the vampires around her. She had been here before. Bella drew closer to Alice. Her sister grabbed her hand and held it tight. "Well, well, Vincent, what have you brought this time?" This vampire had dark skin. Bella was surprised by that. She thought all vampires were as white as snow. "I found an old runaway," the dark haired vampire said, pushing Renee forward. The dark vampire took a look at her. "What do you think, Rick?" "Getting old," Rick sighed, "but her blood smells sweet. She also smells like you boys had yourselves a good time." "No harm done, she's been whored out before." "Her brand is expired," Rick sighed looking at the burn on Renee's ankle. "Woman died years ago. I'll give you 100 for her." "Fine, whatever." "You took that well," Rick said. Vincent grinned. "I have something that will really make your day." "Oh?" Bella and Alice were brought forward. "Both virgins. Their parents were escapees and made freak love to create them. The little one is adopted, but this one," he pushed Bella forward a bit, "will bring in some money." Bella didn't like the way Rick looked her over. He appraised her body as if she were a vase or a painting to be sold. He took her wrist and held it to his nose. "She smells clean. No trace of the pill anywhere. No trace of semen either. What about this one?" "We had a bit of fun with her mouth. Or rather Danny did. Messed in her hair." "She'll have to be bleached then," Rick sighed, "she won't fetch a price if she's got another vamps load on her." "They're both intact." "Can you be sure?" Rick asked, raising his eyes. "Yes, they are," Renee said, "both of my girls are." Vincent sneered at her, "you should check them both anyway." "My girls have never met a man beyond my husband," Renee insisted. "Such lovely girls, perhaps their father got a little frisky."

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Bella shuddered at the idea and Alice looked sick. "We'll check anyway," Rick said with a grin. "Then we'll talk price." Bella didn't have time to wonder what exactly was going to happen when they were checked, or what they were being checked for, but she was sure that she wasn't going to like it if Renee had tried so hard to prevent it. Both she and Alice were taken into the back room where they were stripped. They wore only the iron chains around their wrists and ankles. "Sit," Rick ordered, "We have more for you." Bella looked at the vampire that came in. He looked just like the others, dark haired and pale skinned. He looked over the two girls with a grin. "Right this way ladies." "They're supposedly virgins," Rick said, "so check for a hymen or signs of damage." Alice closed her eyes and receded into her happy place, like she usually did when she felt scared. Bella watched the doctor poke around inside of her and smile. "Yep, this one's a virgin. Now you." Bella greeted him with a swift kick to the groin. "Fuck she's a fighter." "Yep," Vincent said, "it was so hard to keep from throwing her ass to the ground and fucking the spark out of her. I'll bet her tight little pussy would have felt so good." "Burn in hell you disgusting vile rodent!" Bella snarled. "Keep that up and I'll take you right now," Vincent purred, "screw the finders fee. Would you like that little girl? My cock in your ass?" Bella glared at him. He kept looking at her with the same twisted smirk on his face. The doctor roughly grabbed Bella's shoulder and thrust her onto her back. "Mmm I wish I had taken her mouth at least." "Enough from you," Rick said. Bella sucked in a sharp breath as icy fingers went inside of her. They lingered longer than they had in Alice. "She's a virgin alright," the doctor agreed. "Kindly take your disgusting fingers out of me." "You'll bring down your price if you keep talking like that." Bella grabbed the sides of the table and thrust herself down. She winced as she felt a twinge of pain as the stone fingers pierced her hymen. "YOU LITTLE BITCH!" Vincent roared. The doctor laughed and Rick did as well. "Oh sweet innocent little human," Rick laughed, "no vampire will care if your hymen is complete. They'll still want to be the first cock in you. You'll fetch a high price. With your sweet blood and pure body we'll get quite a bit."

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Bella didn't find out how much Vincent got for supposedly finding her. She and her mother and sister were taken from the room and into a large shower. They met up with other humans, some as young as seven and as old as fifty. They were all naked and scared. Renee held her daughter's close and Bella let her pride disappear as she clung to her mother. The water started. Icy streams from above washed away the dirt and grime from each of them. It wasn't uncommon for humans to go underground. It was harder to be found that way. Renee washed her daughter's quickly and roughly. Bella shivered and huddled close to Alice. Renee was sobbing as she washed them. Bella knew why. When they were both very small they were sometimes able to steal away into the night and bathe in the lake in the moonlight. They would play quietly with each other and it was their only time to be in the fresh air. "Mom, it's going to be okay," Alice said, "you'll see." "Yes, we're going to be alright." They were wrong and Renee knew it. She knew what was waiting for them in the next rooms. The water stopped and hot air was blown down on them to dry them. They left into the next room where they were given clothes. Simple pieces of cloth. Bella and Alice were pulled away from Renee where they were forced into white knee length dresses and had a yellow rope tied around their middles to act like a belt. When they emerged again they found Renee and ran to her. She was dressed in dark green. She pulled them roughly to her. "Whatever happens," she whispered, "I love you both with all of my heart." She kissed each one of them on the foreheads, holding her lips against their skin for a long time. She was crying. "Mom...please...don't..." "I love you girls. I love you a million times more than anything else in this world." The girls were confused by this but then understood when they were being pulled away. "MOM! MOM!" Bella screamed. She reached for Renee's hand but their fingers slipped away. She and Alice were pulled away and Renee fell to her knees in tears. Bella whirled around and attacked the vampire leading them. She was thrown off and fell to the ground where she was nearly trampled. Alice pulled her up and they looked back to see Renee being pulled off into a separate room with others dressed like her. The next room took Bella by surprise. Her jaw fell open and Alice was the same. The room was massive. The smell was horrible. Sweat, blood and stale sex. Bella gripped Alice's hand tight. They stuck together as if they were glued and looked around, frightened. Down at the end of the hall that seemed to go on forever, Bella saw dark green. "Look around you," the vampire said. "You are whites. You are better than all of them because you are the most valued of your pathetic race." Bella looked around. There was a grated ceiling above them and occasionally they would see someone walk over them. There were pearly white figures looking into the rooms, made of thick heavy plastic. She felt as if she might as well be on display with a sign around her neck. Human for sale, fully housebroken completely intact.

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They were led into a small plastic cage. There were three other girls inside, huddled against the corner. Bella and Alice were pushed into the room and the three girl shivered. Alice looked at Bella. "What is this place?" She asked. "This is where they come to buy you," one of the girls said. "The vampires." Bella walked to the plastic wall of her prison and peered out. "What do the colors mean?" "Green means old, blue means young, red means young and lightly used, and white is brand spanking new." "They just keep us here?" "Yep," the girl said walking to her. "I'm Emily. This is Leah and Lauren." "I'm Bella, and this is my sister Alice." "You two are really related?" Emily asked. "Her parents adopted me when we were four," Alice answered in a quiet monotone. "The shock will wear off soon enough," Emily promised. She was friendly. She reached out a hand and Bella took it. She brought them to their corner where they had blankets. They curled up under them. Bella and Alice gripped each other's hands. "You two won't be here long," Leah said, "none of us are. At least, none of us whites." "What do you mean?" Bella asked. "We're virgins," Lauren said, "never been touched. The reds, they've probably had sex a couple of times. Enough to carry a scent. See vampires have a great sense of smell. If a girl has sex enough times they take on a smell from whatever comes out." "The white stuff," Alice mumbled, "it smells horrible." "How do you know?" Lauren asked, accusing. Alice buried her face in Bella's shoulder. Bella shot Lauren a warning glare. She knew that fighting the weak human girl would be no problem if she had to. "Be nice," Emily said, "don't listen to them." Alice felt Emily attempt to comfort her. "They did the same to me. Made me suck on each of them." "Vincent?" Bella asked. "And his merry band of pricks. After they killed my father and my two twin brothers." "They killed our father, drank his blood. Then they put it in our mother." "Most of them do," Leah said bitterly, "humans don't get pregnant like vamps do. The men especially have a

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thing for warm bodies." Bella didn't want to listen anymore. She wrapped her arms around Alice's shoulders. How long would it be until they were pulled apart too? Was their mother okay? Bella could just imagine Renee, in a cramped plastic cage, crying as she was now. They were only yards apart but it felt like miles. Alice hummed softly, stroking Bella's hair. They shifted so it was Alice who was holding her sister. She sang a soft lullaby that only Bella could hear over the sound of the chatter of the trapped humans. How many of them were in there? Bella couldn't begin to count. There were three floors and each of them were stuffed full. --Three vampires walked into the Center. They walked up to the front desk and the receptionist turned her attention to them immediately. So handsome! Good lord the Cullen boys make me melt! "We're here for a human for Edward," Jasper said with a grin. "Our little Eddie is growing up," Emmett cooed. "Now pick out a good one and make sure it's had all it's shots." "You guys are impossible," Edward sighed, rolling his burgundy eyes. "Gentlemen, how are you this fine afternoon? My name is Mike and I'll be your guide today. Now what exactly did you have in mind?" "Nothing that will give him something," Emmett teased. "Lightly used," Edward said, "if you can manage it." "For you, anything Mr. Cullen." Edward smirked and walked into the viewing room with his friends. "Let's not even go upstairs. Only greens up there." Edward looked through the plastic walls at the hundreds of faces, each of them had a million thoughts all focusing on hoping they weren't next. Some hoped they were, anything was better than this hell. Jasper was tense and Emmett was as carefree as ever. I can feel everything. Such a nuisance. "I hear you," Edward agreed. His eyes slid to the people in blue. "Now these are our standard roughed up picks. Not quite as used as the greens, but not as new as the reds. Are you looking for a young lady?" "That might be best," Edward said with a quirked eyebrow. They walked by the people in blue and to the reds. "We do have whites in," Mike said eagerly. Edward seemed interested, as did Emmett and Jasper. They walked to the end of the hall to the final room. Edward peered in and saw the girls waiting. Three of them

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were in one corner, huddled under a blanket and two were in the other. They were standing side by side. "Has anything caught your interest?" Edward looked at Bella. Her hair fell around her ivory shoulders and her eyes...he was drawn to her eyes, like melted chocolate and as deep as an ocean. He could hear the thoughts coming from the girl next to her but nothing from her. Please, not Bella, please anyone but Bella Nothing from the dark haired girl. Was she mentally challenged? Some vampires would love that. "Sir?" "I believe something has," Edward said. Mike opened the door to the room and the four vampires walked in. Edward walked up to the girl and her small friend began to show signs of panic. Please! NOT BELLA! For the love of god please anyone but her! I can't lose her too!" "Such a lovely human," Edward murmured. He reached over to touch her and she pulled back. He looked at her with an amused expression. "Something wrong?" "I don't want to be touched by a filthy leech," Bella snarled. "You'll hold your tongue!" Mike said firmly. He cracked his whip and her and she flinched. Still no thoughts. What do you think Eddie? Edward looked at the girl. He reached out and took her arm. She jerked free and swung at him. He caught her wrist and pulled it to his lips. "She smells wonderful," he murmured, "freesia." "Let go of me," Bella growled. "I don't think you're in any position to order me around," Edward said with a crooked smile. "I don't think you're in any position to assume that you can order me around," Bella snarled. "I do apologize for her, sir," Mike said quickly, "she will be severely punished for her actions." "I'll take this one," Edward said. "Dude, there are plenty of others. Why go for the thorn?" "I'll take this one," Edward said again. "You'll do no such thing," Bella growled. "Please," Alice said suddenly, "please don't." "Don't?" Edward asked, "what shouldn't I do? Hm?" "Don't take her," Alice pleaded, "she's all I have left."

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"I want this one," Jasper said, taking Alice's arm. "Aw Jasper's getting a pet too?" Emmett whined. "It seems today is your lucky day," Edward murmured. "Define luck," Bella growled, "I'd say being taken home by a loathsome creature such as yourself classifies as a very bad day." "You'll have to do something about this one Eddie," Emmett laughed, "she's a little wildcat." Edward looked into Bella's eyes. Unfathomably deep and overflowing with emotion. She was anything but mentally challenged. She spoke with such passion and anger. But he couldn't hear a word in her head. A mental mute. He would figure out why she was so silent to him. "These girls will do," Edward decided. "Will you be having them injected or given the pill?" Mike asked. "To be safe I suppose," Jasper agreed. "Edward?" "Not yet," Edward said, "I don't want to ruin her scent." "But sir, without the pill you could easily kill her if you drank her blood." "You underestimate my control," Edward said, slightly bragging. Emmett boomed a laugh and they walked out. Mike put chains on both Alice and Bella and handed the chains to Edward and Jasper. Jasper took the chain connected to Alice and walked silently. Edward seemed to find it amusing that Bella was still struggling against his strength. "She's a fun little thing isn't she?" "Let's hope she's housebroken," Emmett teased. "Don't pee on the carpet okay," Edward said to Bella, teasing. "Oh fuck you," Bella spat, kicking him in the back. He laughed when he barely felt anything but the sensation of her foot and her foot was most likely sore. They walked by the other colors and Bella stopped walking. The jerk on the chain from Edward not stopping made her fall to her knees. Edward looked back and sighed. "Will you be falling a lot?" he asked. Alice helped Bella up. They heard Renee before they saw her. Bella ran by Edward to the plastic wall and put her hands against it. "Mom! Mom!" "Bella! Alice!" "Mom! I love you mom!" Jasper tensed. He could feel the intensity of the love between the three women. He could also feel the hatred

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from Bella. She whipped around and the chain wrapped around Edward. She pulled it up so that it was around his neck and pulled. Edward laughed as the chain did no harm and twirled lazily out of it. "You really have no idea just how powerful we are do you?" he asked. "Leave her alone!" Alice ordered. "Not you too," Emmett groaned. "You two sure can pick 'em." Jasper pulled Alice close to him. "Pray for your sake that you don't thin my patience further," he growled. "I'll tolerate very little of this rebellious streak you two seem to have. I don't find it amusing like Edward does. You will behave or you will be punished." "Please, let us say goodbye," Alice asked quietly, "she's our mother." Jasper nodded. Alice and Bella turned to Renee. The woman was crying. "I love you both. Never forget that." "We'll find a way back to you," Bella promised, "please just hold on mom." "We love you," Alice promised, crying now, "we love you so much mom!" Twin jerks on the chain brought the two girls away from their mother. Renee stumbled through the sea of green to be as close to them as possible. Finally they reached the end of the hall and her girls were pulled from sight, off to a world where she couldn't protect them. In that moment, she felt more alone than she ever had. "Sir we didn't cover how much these girls cost," Mike said, "with the pill as well..." "I'm Edward Cullen," Edward said with a very amused smirk, "money is never an object." TBC Very dark I know. I'm loving arrogant brat Edward though as well as rebel Bella. Review this Story/Chapter DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Let me bleed you this song of my heart deformed I lead you along this path in the dark where I belong until I feel your warmth Hold me like you held onto life When all fears come alive and entombed me Love me like you love the sun Scorching the blood in my vampire heart

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-Vampire Heart by HIM Chapter 2, Bella and Alice sat together on a bench while Edward and Jasper filled out their paperwork. They looked over as the doors opened and vampires came in with sobbing humans. Bella recognized the vampire as Vincent, the one who brought them here. The rusty haired vampire, Danny, was with him this time. They were dragging a couple more humans with them. One girl and two boys. The girl looked to be about the same age. "Well well we meet again," Vincent sneered at Bella, "still a wild child?" Bella looked up at him with cold and angry eyes. Vincent stroked her cheek and she bit his finger. "Ouch," he muttered, "why is it every time I see you I just want to tear into that sweet virginal ass of yours?" "Hey, pervert," Edward said. Vincent turned and looked at him. Edward stood with his arms folded, his weight more to one side and looking more like a god than a man. One bronze brow was quirked and his half smile was arrogant and sarcastic. "Do you mind stepping away from my human?" "I didn't know she had been bought," Vincent said. Lucky bastard I'll bet she'll bleed and scream Edward raised both brows at his thoughts. Whatever Bella did to offend him must have been good. Mike came to bring the girls into the next room. Bella wondered if this was what her life was going to be. A series of rooms. This one was cramped. Edward, Emmett and Jasper sat in office chairs and waited. "What can I do for you gentlemen today?" the doctor asked. They all looked at Jasper and Edward. "The usual cleaning or one of our specials?" Alice grabbed Bella's hand and Bella looked over at her. Her sister didn't return the look. Her eyes were focused on the blonde vampire who was now her owner. "I'll take the usual for her," Jasper said nodding to Alice. The doctor turned his attention to Edward. "I'll pass for the moment," Edward said, looking directly into Bella's ferocious eyes. "I'll let you know when you're done." "Very well," The doctor said, "come with me." The vampires and their humans were taken into yet another room. Bella hated all the walls and fluorescent lighting. Alice was pulled away from her and set on a cold metal table in the middle of what looked like a tub or a drain. She looked at the doctor. He came and pulled her long black hair behind her. They pulled her dress off and put it aside. Sh shivered in the cold and Bella saw the return of the twitch in Jasper's eye. Alice squeaked as the doctor sprayed her with water and his nurse pulled on gloves. She rubbed Alice's hair with what looked like soap. Bella doubted it was as Alice looked to be in quite a bit of pain. Her eyes were squeezed shut and her hands were at her head, as if trying to keep her hair from being ripped out. When they were done she was sprayed with water again to get the shampoo from her hair. She shivered violently and Bella ran to her but Edward wasn't having that. He tugged on her chain and she flew back into him.

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"You're hurting her!" Bella snapped at him. "One of these days you'll figure out that I don't care," Edward laughed. Bella watched in pain as her sister struggled to cover herself and stay warm. The doctor roughly dried her with a towel and pulled her dress back on. He grabbed her hair and pulled it back. Alice yelped and he came at her with scissors. Alice bit her lip hard to keep from crying. Her hair was cropped to almost nothing. Her head looked like it was covered in black spikes. "It'll look better when it's dry," the doctor assured Jasper. Bella saw the doctor pull out a needle for the injection she had heard about. Whatever it was it couldn't be good. She felt the lax in her chain and tore away from Edward. He didn't jerk her back and let her tackle the doctor. "STOP IT!" Bella screamed at him as she attacked him. The doctor snarled at her and threw her back. Edward and Emmett were laughing as the human girl tried to fight a vampire. Jasper was rolling his eyes but there was an amused smirk on his lips. The doctor snatched Bella by the wrists and hit her across the face. "Hey now," Edward said lazily. "Behave, you're next kitten." Bella glared at Edward and she was thrown back at him. He watched as she fell over the chain and crashed to her knees. He reached down and grabbed the chain. He pulled her to her feet and she winced as the metal dug into her neck. "What is he doing to her?" Bella demanded. Alice winced as the needle went into her arm and it's contents were injected into her veins. "Now, you shouldn't drink from her for at least a week," the doctor said, "not only will her blood have a bitter taste but you could get sick." "Sure, sure," Jasper said with a casual wave of his hand, "this isn't my first human." Edward seemed bored with watching the doctor prepare Alice for his friend. He took Bella by the arm and spun her around so the chain coiled around her. "Stop it," Bella growled, getting dizzy as he unraveled her and repeated the process. Edward laughed and Jasper rolled his eyes. "Edward will you stop making your human sick. She's going to throw up." "Fine," Edward sighed. He stopped spinning Bella and went back to watching the doctor leaving a coil of chain around her arms. He had returned from the back room with a small needle gun. He pushed Alice onto her back and grabbed her foot. "Now hold still," he ordered. Alice watched with wide and scared eyes as he turned the thing on. He dipped it in black ink and looked at Jasper. "Crest or name?" "Crest," Jasper answered. This seemed to delight the doctor. Most families didn't have a crest of their own. The Cullens were an old family spanning back to the Great War. Alice bit her lip and Bella squirmed as the

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doctor tattooed the crest onto her skin. "What did you guys do before you had those?" Emmett asked. "We used to burn 'em in, but what with trade becoming more common this is easier." Alice wept silently as the needle hammered a brand into her ankle. She was already feeling sick from the injection, her body felt like it was on fire. He finished with the elaborate Cullen crest and pulled Alice into a sitting position. "Is there anything else?" the doctor asked Jasper. "I believe that's it," Jasper said. Alice was pulled off of the table and given back to Jasper. He seemed to me more mature than Edward when it came to sitting calmly with her. Or maybe, or rather Bella hoped, he knew how much pain she was in. "Have you made a decision?" "I want her washed. No trim. I'll pass on the injection for now..." "You won't be able to use her for blood as often then," the doctor reminded him, "the injection merely increases their ability to produce more blood in a short amount of time. It also helps for those with...appetites." "No injection," Edward said again. "And I would like the crest, as well as the family name." Bella's eyes widened slightly. The doctor nodded and pulled Bella over. She was stripped and the doctor grabbed his hose. "Oh and doctor," Edward said lightly, "if you could be extra thorough with the cleaning of her body and hair I would be very appreciative. I want my pet to look acceptable." "Of course sir," the doctor said with a laugh. He gripped the spray nozzle and Bella was showered with icy water. The doctor grabbed her arm and a bar of wash rag and scrubbed her arms so that he very nearly rubbed her skin off. The entire time Edward kept his eyes locked on hers. Bella saw the return of his crooked smile. Bella tried to fight the humiliated blush that crept up her cheeks as the doctor washed roughly between her legs but the vampires caught it. "Aw look at her blushing," Emmett cooed, "You are all disgusting," Alice cried. Jasper glared at her. "What did I say about behaving?" he asked. "Act like your sister and I'll just turn around and sell you back. Do you hear me?" Alice nodded. She looked away and Jasper didn't do anything. She half expected him to hold her head and force her to watch her sister's humiliation. Bella stood with her hands firmly at her side. She wouldn't give Edward the satisfaction of seeing her struggle to cover herself and warm a little. The doctor grabbed her chin so he could clean her face and she chomped down hard on his fingers. "Damn!"

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Bella brought her knee sharply into his groin and as he doubled over she kicked his chest. She felt a sharp tug on her neck and then a sharper jerk brought her back hard to the ground. Edward knelt beside her. He held the chain tight around her neck and looked her in the eye. "Enough," he snarled, "now are you going to behave yourself?" Bella spit in his eye. Edward reached up and wiped it away. He casually grabbed the hose from the ground and sprayed it directly into her face. After he was satisfied with how close she was to drowning, he stopped. Bella coughed and choked on the water. "I'll as you again. Are you going to behave." Bella didn't answer. She looked into his burgundy eyes, they were angry, but not like hers. Edward found that her eyes were even more enchanting when they were brimming with emotion. He sprayed her again, holding her by the back of her neck with one strong hand so she couldn't move away. Her hands clawed for his face. He moved casually out of them. He heard Alice sob behind him, Jasper was forcing her to watch this time, showing her what will happen should she become as disobedient as her sister. Edward stopped the water. "Are you going to behave?" When she didn't answer again and he sprayed her again. This time when he stopped and she coughed and gagged he waited without a word. Bella felt every cell in her being burn with rage towards him. His eyes didn't break away from her. His hand was strong on the back of her head, he could crush her. He wasn't going to be like Vincent and flat out rape her and humiliate her to gain control. Bella wondered if he would actually kill her. Money meant nothing to him. So what if he killed a human that cost him five thousand? She would leave Alice alone if he killed her. When the last water attack stopped and their eyes held. She broke the contact. Edward watched her deep eyes fall downwards. "Good," he murmured. He stood and walked away from her. Jasper and Emmett watched him in mild surprise. Bella was put on the table and Edward's crest and family name was branded into her ankle. She didn't show any sign of pain but it hurt so badly. The needle tapped the bone of her thin ankle and sent vibrations up her leg. She looked over at Alice who gave her a very feeble half smile that was trying to be reassuring. They had to count their blessings. Bella had to remind herself of that. Their owners were close. Someone said they were brothers. Bella was going to stay with her sister. That was all she could hope for. It was hard to walk afterwards. The brands stung as the wind hit them outside. The sun was bright and the vampires sparkled, throwing rainbows onto the concrete. Bella was disturbed by it. How could something so beautiful be so vile? Edward was handsome, as were his friends. They had something else about them that the others didn't. Vincent and his gang had been fairly unattractive. Bella wondered if it was because of their violence and the way they tortured them, but did Edward not do the same thing just differently? Yet there was no beauty quite like Edward Cullen. Unfortunately he seemed very aware of this fact. Something Bella could add to her growing list of why she hated him. He walked with the arrogance and confidence of someone who had everything his way. He held her freedom in his hand lightly. The silver chain glittered in the sunlight. He held the chain with quite a bit of slack between them, leaving Bella's hands to fall to her front. She could be thankful that he didn't go for the choke collar, as she knew he was tempted to do. Jasper held Alice with a little more care. He didn't jerk her along by any means, but he didn't allow her slack. Bella looked over at her and she looked back. She reached over and took her sister's small hand. Jasper noticed

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but didn't do anything about it. Edward seemed completely unaware. They're very close Edward nodded once, showing he heard. He glanced back at the sisters. Bella wasn't glaring at him but rather focusing on her little sister. Was she older? She was definitely the protector. Edward briefly wondered why, when Alice showed signs of bravery, she was easily silenced. Yet she didn't seem to resent Bella for her defiance, and Bella didn't seem frustrated when her sister so easily complied. Perhaps they just knew their personalities too well. For a human Bella was beautiful. Completely cleaned Bella had a glow about her that was unnatural. Her skin was pale, even for a human. Most humans were tanned because of their weakness in the sun. Normally if a human was pale he found it very unappealing. With their pale skin, he could see flaws with even more clarity. But it was her eyes that attracted him beyond everything else. How was it possible that such a dull color pulled him to her? Was it simply because of her silent mind? He loved the way they got the fire in them, the passion of her emotions was entertaining. Bella and Alice had identical surprised expressions when they got to the car. "Shotgun," Jasper called. "Aw man!" Emmett moaned. Edward snickered and got into the drivers seat of his volvo and Jasper into the front. Emmett squeezed in the back with Alice and Bella. The girls looked at each other, neither wanting to sit right next to Emmett. They did a quick rock paper scissors and Bella lost. She sat in the middle, squeezed up against the bulky vampire. "Sup," he said looking at her. Bella looked up at him with cool eyes. She gripped Alice's hand and Edward started the car. Emmett got bored halfway through the trip home, and let out his boredom by poking Bella in the upper arm. "Stop it," Bella growled. "This is fun," Emmett laughed. Bella's fist clenched on her thigh and she clenched her teeth. Edward looked at her in his rearview mirror and she glowered at him. Emmett poked her in the stomach and she squeaked, making the vampires laugh. This continued until they got home. Bella didn't want her jaw to drop as she looked at the massive mansion, but it was a close call. She had never seen a building so big. She wondered how many vampires lived there. Jasper pulled Alice after him and Edward looked back at Bella. He grinned before jerking her along. Halfway up the walk her foot caught on the pavement and she stumbled. Edward looked back and sighed. Bella stood up and met his amused smirk. "Come along now kitten," he said. "Stop calling me that," Bella growled. "Haha, your little kitten is angry," Emmett observed. "Isn't she though?" Edward agreed, laughing, "like a little kitten that thinks she's a tiger." Bella wanted to say something cold and angry but Alice's fingers squeezing hers kept her silent. She glanced over at Alice who was giving her a pleading look from the corner of her eye.

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"You should listen to your sister," Edward said mildly, "she knows what's best for you." Bella bit her tongue to keep from speaking out again. Edward did have the potential to kill her and she knew she shouldn't provoke him. But still how she hated him. They walked into the massive house and Bella felt her jaw drop. It was larger than the Center and a hundred times more elegant. The foyer itself was larger than their underground home, with marble floors and marble pillars. A servant came to take their shoes and their coats. Edward turned around and took the chains off of Bella and Alice. He zipped off like a flash to put them away and came back. "Don't try to run away," he said as an afterthought. Bella had been thinking about it. He seemed to know that. But there was no way she and Alice would be able to escape that. Besides, she tended to fall down when she ran, a fact she didn't want Edward knowing just yet. They left the foyer and Bella saw two massive marble staircases leading up on each side of the room. In the center was a round mahogany table with a vase overflowing with blossoms. The boys were starting up the stairs when a gold blur passed them and with a crash Emmett was on his back and there was a blonde vampire on him. "I missed you," Rosalie purred "I missed you too," Emmett said before kissing her heavily. "See you later Em," Edward called. Emmett gave them a thumbs up. Bella looked back at the two vampires were were very eagerly trying to devour each other's face. It seemed like the strangest behavior in the world, after all what was the point of probing another's mouth with their tongue? It was probably a vampire thing. Bella and Alice exchanged weird looks and followed the two vampires up the marble stairs. Edward turned down the right hallway and Jasper went left. Bella didn't seem to want to let go of Alice. One powerful tug from each vampire broke them apart and sent sharp pain up Bella's arm. "Keep up," Edward ordered. "I'm going to go over the rules." "Do the others live here too?" Bella asked. "One, stop interrupting me, two, stop asking stupid questions." Bella glowered at him. "Three, you might as well stop acting like a little kitty cat who wants to be a lion, because the truth is you are nothing but a weak little nothing." "I am not weak," Bella snarled. Edward was holding her in the next breath and his hands were clenched around her upper arms. "Excuse me?" He asked. Bella looked at him, her chest heaving with angry breaths. He let go of one arm and held her wrist with two fingers. "Oh no watch this, this will be entertaining for you." Bella saw his pale fingers. With one simple flick her hand was twisted as far as it would go without breaking. The cocky grin returned to Edward's lips.

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"If you aren't weak then fight me off," he challenged. He pressed closer to her. "If you were strong you could defend yourself. I could take you to my room," he murmured, "and bend you over my desk, and pound into you all night, until I broke that spirit of yours. And do you want to know what would happen?" Bella didn't make a single movement. Her heart was racing. "You'd blush like a little slut and I promise you, you will be calling me master." "I will never call you master," Bella vowed. Edward grabbed her and threw her over his shoulder. Bella pounded on his back but she might as well be hitting a statue. He carried her to his bedroom and threw her onto the floor. He came down on top of her. He straddled her hips and cupped her face in his hands. He was ashamed at how attractive he thought she was. She was a human. She was miles below him. Her hair was fanned out on the floor and around her shoulders in thick waves of brown. Her face, so soft and warm between his hands, was flushed with anger and her eyes...oh her eyes. Edward knew he was going to enjoy tormenting her just to see the fire in her eyes. He had heard the thoughts in the hunter's head about finding her. It was only the large price that she would bring that kept him from raping her. Would she scream? Edward wondered if she would fight him. He brought his face to hers and smelled her scent. Her breath was hot on his face. He went down to her neck. He held her wrists flat to the ground and inhaled her scent. She smelled like the most mouthwatering treat. He wasn't some sloppy middle class vampire. He had more control than that. Still, he flicked his thumb over her wrist and slit her skin. He raised her wrist to his mouth and let her hot blood touch his lips. Bella tried to pull away but there was nothing she could do. She watched as Edward smelled her blood. His eyes closed. Bella couldn't help but notice the perfect beauty of his face. She hated him with every breath but still, he was so beautiful. The soft lavender of his lids and the dark thick lashes. His skin, like ivory, was pulled over perfect cheekbones and a beautifully cut jaw. Bella could see the muscles in his neck, smooth and elegant, as it gave into broad shoulders. Strong shoulders. Edward wasn't like the vampire hunters. He was much more powerful. She saw the muscles and his perfectly sculpted collarbone as it disappeared under his dark red cashmere shirt. Beautiful arms held hers with bluish veins visible under the pale skin. Even his nails were perfect. Perfectly filed on his long sensual fingers. His lips, just a shade pinker than his skin, parted and his tongue came out. He licked her blood and she shivered. He slowly lapped the crimson liquid, as much as her body would give him. His eyes were still closed. His bronze hair was casually messy and it hung so beautifully across his flawless forehead. Edward felt like he was in heaven. What was this girl? Her blood was the most delicious of all. Her smell was so sweet, so very unlike a human. He came away from her blood easily. Well, with more ease than a lower class vampire. He wanted her. He looked at her intensely. She was trying to take him in, her eyes told him that much. She was trying to make sense of what he was. He wondered if she was wondering the same thing he was. Why hadn't he ripped off her clothes and taken her? He wondered what it would be like to be fully sheathed in her hot body. Bend her over and take her from behind. He wouldn't give her the pleasure of looking at his face while he did it. But then he wouldn't be able to see her eyes. He wouldn't be able to see the angry hatred and pain dissolve into pleasure. She would be pleasured by him. He was Edward Cullen. There wasn't a girl in the world that didn't want him. Well, maybe one, but he was happy with believing that if he bestowed the gift of his sex upon her that she

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would toss her head back and cry out in pleasure, just as Tanya did. She would claw his shoulders and scream out in pure bliss as her orgasm hit her and he would ride it out. Only with the human, she would call him her master. With each thrust he would make her thankful that he had been generous enough to chose her. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 3, "I'm Esme," a caramel haired woman said the moment Bella was taken to the servants quarters. Bella was sure that she was going to like Esme. With her soft heart shaped face and gentle features, she was almost maternal. "Bella," Bella mumbled. She looked around. There were a few others in the room. "This is Angela, Jessica and Rachel." Each of the girls nodded when Esme said their name and went back to their own devices. Bella rubbed her upper arm nervously, allowing herself to feel vulnerable and scared for the first time in weeks. The door opened and Jasper brought Alice in. "Master Jasper," the three girls said, standing quickly. Jasper didn't look at them. "Esme, this is my new human." Bella thought it was strange. Jasper referred to Esme by her name. She wondered why. But she was just happy to see her sister. Alice left Jasper's side and ran to Bella. They held onto each other's hands and looked at Jasper. "It seems that you and Edward were too frightening," Esme said. "You boys are too much sometimes." "Hm, well such is life. Show them the ropes." Esme nodded and Jasper left. Bella looked at Esme strangely. She spoke to Jasper as if they were friends. Esme seemed to read her confused expression because she spoke calmly and gently, "they're good boys once you get to know them." "I highly doubt that," Bella said coldly. "You'll see it in time," Esme assured them. She took them to the empty cot that was set up for Edward's human. "I'm afraid we weren't counting on two new additions, so you'll have to share for now..." "That's fine," Alice said quickly. "I'm not feeling well, I just want to lay down." "You'll be sick for a few days because of the pill," Esme said, "or injection, either one." Alice nodded and laid on the cot. Bella sat next to her and Alice rested her head on her lap. Bella stroked her sister's cropped hair and it wasn't long before Alice was in silent tears.

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"Are you feeling alright?" Esme asked, taking the cot next to them. "I'm fine," Bella said, "the vampire didn't give me a shot." "Master Edward is strange in his own way," Esme said, "that sounds like him. He takes pride in his control." "And everything else." Esme laughed. It was a sweet musical sound that Bella had never really heard before. Her parents had always had heavy dry laughs, after slavery corrupted them everything about their beings was heavy and dry. "Master Edward is very arrogant, I will give you that," Esme agreed. "He's the youngest of Lord Cullen's two sons." "I thought the three of them were all brothers." "No, heavens no," Esme said with another musical laugh as if she were talking about her own family. "Master Carlisle is the eldest. Emmett, the big one, is the husband of Mistress Rosalie." "The blonde girl?" Esme nodded, "be wary of her," she warned, "Mistress Rosalie is much like her father and she has very little patience for humans." "Sounds like a typical vampire," Bella muttered. "Master Jasper was adopted by Lord Cullen. He is rumored to be one of his illegitimate children but there has never been a test done. Master Jasper was orphaned at a very young age. Then there is Master Edward." Esme sounded almost sad when she mentioned the youngest Cullen's name. As if she felt for him in some way. "He is seventeen and is very young. Master Carlisle is nearing forty, and Mistress Rosalie is in her thirties." "That's quite a gap," Bella said. "Yes." "What about his mother?" "The Lady Cullen died a long time ago," Esme said sadly. "I was brought here when I was five. I was fifteen when she died. She was kind. I was her human as well." "As well?" "Primarily I belong to Master Carlisle," Esme said, "I was given to him at a young age as a companion." "A companion?" "In a way yes," Esme said, "you see my mother belonged to Lord Cullen. She escaped one night and learned she was pregnant with me. We lived alone together and when she was finally found she killed herself. They

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saw the brand on her foot and brought me to Lady Cullen. She didn't have much use for a human child so she told me to serve her son. Master Carlisle was about nine at the time." "Will we meet him?" Bella asked. Just that moment the door opened and a vampire came in. He was painfully handsome like the others so Bella knew he must be one of the Cullen boys. For a moment she thought it was Jasper but remembered that Jasper's hair was a little longer. This man had short golden blonde hair. His eyes were the same red as every other vampire, only a shade or two lighter. But it was his face that was completely different. He smiled when he came in. "I'm sorry to disturb you ladies," he said, nodding towards Angela, Jessica and Rachel. Esme stood and smiled. "Good evening Master Carlisle," she said, "what can we do for you?" Bella didn't like how Esme was so willing to serve them. "You have new arrivals?" Carlisle asked, noticing Bella and Alice. "Yes," Esme said looking back at them, "it seemed your brother wanted one too." "It would seem," Carlisle said with a laugh. "This is Bella, and that is Alice." "Hello," Carlisle said with a smile. Bella held Alice tighter. Alice seemed too tired to notice. "Oh," he said, noticing the withdraw. "I must be scarier than I thought." "They just aren't comfortable around you yet," Esme said. Carlisle smiled at her. "Well I hope that's it," he said, "I'd hate to think I'm becoming a horrifying monster." Esme laughed. "What's wrong with the little one?" He asked. "Are you Bella or Alice?" "Alice, is the small one," Esme said, "and she just had her injection today." "She must be Jasper's," Carlisle said. He came to the cot and Bella leapt up, guarding her sister. "I won't hurt her," Carlisle promised, "I just want to see." "It's alright Bella," Esme said gently. Bella glared at Carlisle. "No," Bella said, "leave her alone!" "I heard you were a fighter," Carlisle sighed. "So you knew about them all along," Esme accused with a small smile. Carlisle grinned sheepishly. "I like hearing you give introductions," he said with a shrug. Esme laughed and looked back at Bella.

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"Really, Bella, he won't hurt her." "No, no, if she isn't comfortable then that's fine," Carlisle said. "How long have you two known each other? Such protectiveness isn't very common." "She's my sister," Bella answered warily. "Ah, that explains it," Carlisle said. "Master Jasper also," Esme agreed. "Yes, certainly," Carlisle said. Bella looked confused. "My brother has the ability to handle emotions and feel them. He must have felt the panic coming from her when Edward chose you." "That sounds like him," Esme sighed softly. "Such a softy." Bella wondered how anyone as cold as Jasper could be described as a softy. He seemed to be anything but. "I brought this," Carlisle said, handing Esme a little bottle. "It'll help with her fever and help her sleep." "Did you ask Jasper permission? Carlisle you know how he gets." "Big brother knows best," Carlisle said, "now," he turned to Bella, "I understand that you'll have trust issues, but I promise that the next few days will not be pleasant for her." "What did they give her?" Bella asked angrily. "Poison?" "Technically," Carlisle said, "it's a serum of sorts, that comes in either pill or injection form, that was developed to keep the vampires from draining humans. It bonds to the blood cells and multiplies them rapidly when a wound is inflicted. Back in the early days, humans would be drained easily. It took a lot of control to keep them alive. Now with the serum the blood replenishes much quicker." Bella looked horrified. She was looking at Carlisle as if he was some sort of deranged creature. Carlisle looked innocently back at her. "My sister is being turned into a blood bank?!" Bella cried. "Would you rather she be dead?" Carlisle asked. "I see Edward has already tasted your blood. The serum does make the blood taste bitter for a while." Carlisle took the pills from Esme and slapped them in Bella's hand with a smile. "I don't like to but if it'll get you to give them to her, I order you to make sure she takes these pills once a day for the next five days." "I don't belong to you or anyone and neither does my sister!" Bella snarled. "Oh dear Edward is going to have fun with you," Carlisle sighed, "he enjoys challenges." "Did you come just to harass the new girls?" Esme asked playfully. "No, I came to bring the medication and see what kind of trouble my brother has gotten himself into. And judging by the fire in her eyes I'd say this'll be interesting."

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Carlisle left shortly after and Bella relaxed. She looked at the small bottle in her hand. "Why does he want to help her? How do I know it isn't poison?" "Master Carlisle is very kind," Esme said, "he's a doctor at the hospital. Did you notice the lighter shade of his eyes?" Bella nodded. "He drinks synthetic blood. One of the reasons why his father isn't as fond of him. Synthetic blood is much cheaper than genuine human blood. You can find animal blood in the poor houses. It's given to the homeless usually. From what I hear it's revolting and provides the nutrition needed, but doesn't satisfy the thirst. Synthetic blood is a little better. It's basically human blood with chemicals added to stretch it out. The serum he was talking about is actually used in the process." "They are disgusting creatures, all of them," Bella decided angrily. She didn't want to see Alice suffer. Esme seemed to trust Carlisle completely. But Bella couldn't risk it. She couldn't trust the vampire no matter how much Esme seemed to admire him. She handed the pills to her. "I don't trust him." "She will be very sick," Esme said sadly, "please Bella, it'll ease her pain." Bella sat back on the cot and Alice looked at her weakly. She laid down and Alice cuddled against her. "He gave them to each of us," Angela said in her shy voice, "he really just wants to help." "I trust him," Alice said weakly. Bella knew she was defeated. If Alice wanted to take the pill then that was fine. Esme handed one to her and Alice took it. Esme brought her a cup of water and she swallowed it. About a half hour later her body didn't burn nearly as badly. "How do you feel?" Bella asked. "A little better," Alice admitted, "maybe one of them is actually good." Bella didn't want to go that far. She continued to stroke Alice's hair soothingly until her sister fell asleep. Esme pulled a blanket over the two of them and Bella gave her a weak thankful smile. The medication must have helped Alice sleep because she was completely out. Bella was thankful and a little jealous. It had been weeks (though it felt like years) since their separation from Renee. Each night the girls fell asleep huddled together. Even though Emily and the others were kind to them, Alice and Bella had a bond that seemed to intimidate them. This place wasn't much better than the Center, but at least it was warmer. They had a bed. But most importantly they had each other. Bella didn't have the fear that night that she had that the next morning she could wake up and be taken away from her sister. "Try to get some sleep," Esme said gently. "I barely remember when mom and dad found her," Bella said, "she was all alone. Her parents had been captured by hunters and they had buried her to keep her safe. She scared me to death by popping up. She was so scared. She's always been skittish. I was always the brave one. The one that wasn't afraid of the vampires. I was just afraid of them coming. Our parents were slaves before, they both escaped and tried to shelter us. They killed my father because they had no use for him. They all raped my mother and made Alice...they humiliated her and I couldn't do anything of use. I watched them cut her hair strip her and laugh at her and it didn't matter when they did it to me, I didn't care about me. She tried to stand up for me but the blonde scared her," Bella

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smiled sadly at her sister as she combed her fingers very lightly through her short hair, "she knows what's best for me. I know she just wants to look out for me. But I can't just bend over and take it, Esme, I can't just...can't." "Get some sleep," Esme said gently, smoothing Bella's hair. Bella turned her head slightly to look towards Esme. Her soft hands stroked her hair, tucking it behind her ear and soothing her like Renee used to. "As far as masters go, the Cullen boys aren't so bad. They aren't as foul as others. I know things must look bad now, but I promise you they are better than what could be." "What can be worse than being enslaved and ripped away from your mother just so you can play a pampered brat's pet." "Edward won't make you his whore. He and his brothers don't believe in that. Master Jasper seems to know how strongly you two feel for each other. That's why he took her too. He know the pain of being separated from family." Bella didn't say anything. She turned her head back to Alice and sighed. "Goodnight, Esme," she said quietly. "Sleep well Bella," Esme said in her gentle sweet voice. Bella doubted it but closed her eyes anyway. --Bella's chores were simple. At least her core chores were. Cleaning and bringing Edward his nightly blood. Those were the chores that were set for all the human servants. Extra chores were added at their master's request. That was when Bella decided that Edward was indeed the devil himself. After Alice tidied up and brought blood to Jasper, she was to entertain him. That afternoon he sat in his room with a book open on his lap and a glass of blood beside him. Alice sat on a simple wooden chair and sang to him. Her sweet musical voice calmed him greatly and distracted him from the painfully high emotions coming from both Edward and Bella. "One of these days he is going to lose his patience for good," Jasper sighed, sipping his blood, wincing as he felt a spike of fear from Alice. She looked towards the door and Jasper snapped his fingers. She turned her head back and went back to singing for him. --"Bella," Alice moaned as she came in. "Please stop going against Master Edward!" "Oh not you too!" Bella cried throwing the wash cloth back into the sink. "Please! I don't want him to finally snap and rip your head off or send you away!" "So you want me to just bend over and take his torments?" Bella cried. "Alice!" "Yes!" Alice said almost hysterical. She took Bella's hands. "Please, please at least try. Bella I can't lose you too." Bella scowled at her sister but she was defeated and she knew it. "Fine," she sighed. Alice hugged her tight and kissed her cheek. "Thank you Bella."

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"No problem," Bella sighed. Alice left to her chores and Bella went back to washing dishes. Blood was very hard to get out when it had been sitting. That was the last time she was going to let Edward keep bowls away from her. "He's doing this on purpose," Bella growled as she scrubbed at dried blood. "Stupid vampire." "Hey there kitten," Edward said. He jumped up on the counter and watched her. Bella felt her eye twitch. "Having some trouble." "No," Bella said, trying as hard as she could to be civil. "Okay," Edward said cheerfully. Bella glanced over at him. He was sitting casually, with his legs swinging, banging the cabinet with his heel, making an annoying sound. He was wearing a blue t-shirt with golden letters that Bella didn't bother to pay attention to. He was barefoot but his hard skin still sounded like shoes hitting the cabinets. Thunk, thunk. Bella kept scrubbing the dish. Thunk, thunk. Thunk, thunk. Bella put the dish to the side to dry and, thinking she was done, she went to get a towel to dry them. "Oh right, I forgot to bring these down last night," Edward said handing her three bowls. "I didn't even bring you this much!" Bella cried. Edward shrugged. "Clean them." Bella took the bowls angrily and put them in the soapy water. She glared at Edward and noticed that he was sitting right above the drawer with the towels. She looked up at him and he was grinning. "Well?" Bella reached between his knees and tried to open the drawer but Edward kept it closed with one leg. "You aren't done yet," he said, "you still have three bowls." "That are soaking while I dry the others," Bella growled. "I say wash them now," Edward said. "I know what I'm doing and I need to get a towel." Edward reached over and grabbed the hose from the sink and sprayed her face. Bella glared at him. "Please let me get a towel," she growled. He sprayed her again. "Wash the bowls." "Give me a towel." "Wash the bowls."

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"After I dry the dishes I just washed!" Edward grinned and sprayed her in the face again. Bella glowered at him and went to the sink. She grabbed the bowl and Edward looked up at the ceiling. He began whistling and thumping his feet against the cabinet. She felt anger surge through her. She pulled the bowl out of the soapy water and looked into it. The caked on blood was visible through the soap. "Yeah that might be kinda hard to get off," Edward sighed, still staring at the ceiling. Bella clenched her hands around the bowl and felt the surge of anger towards him. Her arms jerked and the next thing she knew the water was leaving the bowl and splashed on Edward. His head snapped to look at her. "Did you just splash me?" he asked in a cool calm voice. "I slipped," Bella said. Edward pushed off of the counter and grabbed her arm. "You got soap in my hair." "Clumsy me." Edward grabbed her by the back of the head and dunked her head in the water. He pulled her out and she coughed. She glared at him with her hair dripping around her. She looked like an angry wet cat. Edward started laughing. "Aw little pussy cat is all wet," he cooed, "oh poor baby." "Edward stop tormenting the humans." Edward looked up and saw Carlisle. "I slipped," Edward said with a shrug. "I'll bet you did," Carlisle said dryly. "Play nice." Carlisle ruffled Edward's hair and left. Edward turned to Bella. "Finish the dishes." Bella turned angrily and snatched up the bowl. She washed it and Edward leaned against the counter and sighed. "I'm thirsty." Bella sighed and grabbed a glass from the cabinet. "What type?" She asked through clenched teeth. Edward grabbed her hand and sliced her arm open. "OW! SON OF A....DAMN IT!" Bella screamed. Edward held her arm over the glass and waited. After the glass was filled to his liking he returned her hand. Bella went to the other side of the kitchen to get a bandage. She wrapped the cut, still seething, and turned angrily. "You dripped."

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"You sliced my arm open!" "You're my human, I can do whatever I want," Edward said with a casual shrug of his shoulders as he took a sip. "Mmm man you should taste you. You're delicious!" "Master Edward, may I borrow Bella for a moment?" Esme asked sweetly. "Oh god please do," Bella moaned. "Aw Esme I was just getting started." "Well then perhaps you can help me then, I'm afraid the washing machine jammed." "Hm. Well Emmett is up in his study. He can help. He's much more mechanical than I am." "Yes, sir," Esme said with a nod, "oh and if you keep drinking like that you'll put on weight and you know how Tanya hates that." "I'll keep that in mind," Edward said mildly. Bella was in shock. Esme was having a civil conversation with the most stubborn and disgusting vampire she had ever met! How did she manage to make Edward actually respond normally?! Edward, stop tormenting the girl! Your were raised better than that! Edward winced at the mental scolding. "What's the problem again?" "The washing machine is jammed. I think some of the sheets got tangled somehow." "Alright," Edward sighed, "I'll have the darn thing thrown out." "Thank you, sir," Esme said with a smile. "I expect those dishes to be done by the time I return," Edward said. Bella didn't make a noise but turned and went back to the sink. Edward made to leave with Esme and almost bumped into Alice. "Sorry, sir," Alice said. "Sorry Esme." Edward didn't say anything, he kept walking and Esme put a gentle hand on Alice's cheek before leaving with him. Alice came in with the glass that Jasper had been using. She caught Bella's wet hair and sighed. "What happened to you?" she asked. "Nothing," Bella said angrily. She went back to angrily scrubbing the caked on blood. "He does this on purpose! He hides the bowls and glasses so that I can't clean them until the blood is dried and caked on!" "Did you try soaking?" Alice asked, washing Jasper's glass. "Yes," Bella sighed, "it makes it a little easier but it leaves rings. See." Alice took the bowl and examined it. "So it does. Try scraping with a spoon."

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"Oh no that scratches the glass," Bella grumbled, "or so his royal pain in my ass says." "Bella!" Alice hissed, "they do have excellent hearing you know!" "I don't care," Bella seethed, scrubbing the dish in her hand, "let them know that I hate all of them!" "Master Carlisle seems nice," Alice said, "Esme says he is very patient." "I don't know what to make of Esme," Bella confessed, "she is very nice and I appreciate her kindness, but I don't know how anyone can be so friendly to them." "She's been around them for years," Alice said, "since she was five. I'm sure they've formed a friendship. At least I think she and Master Carlisle are friends. What happened to your arm." "He was thirsty," Bella grumbled. "Master Carlisle?" "No! The pompous one." "But you're doing your best to stay calm right?" Alice asked hopefully. Bella didn't answer. "Bella." "Give me time," Bella sighed finally, "Alice it's only been a month since we've been enslaved and I need time to adjust! I can't be as good at is as you!" "I haven't adjusted," Alice said, "I am still very uncomfortable here, but I understand that I need to obey their commands no matter how frivolous. Bella this isn't a game!" "I realize that!" "No you don't! Bella I saw vampire kill my parents, my real parents." "I thought you couldn't remember them," Bella said. Alice looked at one of Edward's bowls and picked it up to help scrub. "I've been dreaming about them. Remember that nightmare I used to have when I was little?" "When you were running through the woods?" Alice nodded. "My birth parents were slaves. They were killed by their masters for fun. I ran away and they didn't care to stop me. They figured I'd die anyway. Our dad was killed by them and our mother...she could be dead for all we know..." "You remind me why I hate them." "Bella you're all I have left," Alice said angrily, her eyes were glittering with tears, "if I lose you too...I can't take it! I can't handle that! I love you so much and if you were taken away because they grew tired of you that wouldn't be nearly as painful as losing you because you provoked them!" "Alice..."

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"No, just, promise me that you will try to make the best out of this miserable situation. Just do as he says and stop fighting!" "What he wants me to do is humiliating! Like I'm some sort of pet!" "Don't you get it?" Alice asked, "you amuse him! Your temper is funny to him!" Bella didn't answer. Alice had a smug smile on her face. Little twerp knew she hadn't thought of that. Alice loved being right. Bella stuck her tongue out at her and Alice splashed her lightly with the water. They both giggled as Bella splashed her back. It was nice, if only for a moment, to finally share a carefree laugh. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! Chapter 4, Bella nearly fell out of bed when the entire servants quarters was lit up and a demanding voice called them to attention. She sat up groggily and looked over at Alice who looked just as confused and tired as she did. Esme pulled them up and began quickly brushing out their hair. "What's going on?" Bella asked sleepily. "Lord Cullen is coming home," Esme said, yanking the brush through one of the snarls that had formed through the night. "Ow!" "Sorry, there your done, now go get ready in your best clothes." Bella nodded and went to change into her simple work clothes. She chose the frock that didn't have stains from the last time Edward made her trip while she carried his drink. Alice appeared next to her and changed herself. Bella reached over and smoothed her hair and Alice gave her a look. Bella stuck her tongue out and Alice made a face. "Girls, come on," Esme said, waving them to her. They left the quarters and went to the foyer. They stood in a perfect line. Alice and Bella stood on one side with Esme, across from Angela, Jessica and Rachel. At the head of the line the Cullen siblings stood. Carlisle stood first looking mild and calm, beside him Rosalie, looking painfully beautiful as always, stood beside Emmett who had his arm around her waist. Jasper stood beside Emmett looking indifferent and Edward was on the end looking, in Bella's opinion a little anxious. "Please Bella," Esme whispered, "please remember yourself." Bella nodded. From the sound of it Lord Cullen was the no nonsense type. She stood perfectly still beside Esme and Alice and waited. Carlisle flashed over quickly and Bella squeaked in surprise as he swept her hair up into a bun on the back of her head. Esme gave him a quick apologetic look which he dismissed. Lord Cullen didn't like hanging hair on his human slaves. The doors opened and Bella felt her breath catch.

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Lord Cullen entered. Bella felt like she was going to faint. He was so handsome it hurt to look at him but that wasn't what surprised her. He was so frightening in a strange way. His blonde hair was slicked back and his skin was papery white. His eyes were narrow and deep burgundy. He had high cheek bones and a heavy jaw. There were faint wrinkles in the corners of his eyes and his mouth. His mouth was a hard pale line. He was dressed in clothes that Bella supposed royalty would wear. He wore a black suit with a burgundy tie. He wore a fur cloak that was taken by Angela and Jessica. In one jewel covered hand he held a cane which Bella thought seemed more for show than for necessity. His walk was powerful and confident. He came and surveyed his sons with severe eyes. It was strange, if Bella had known only one of the Cullen children were adopted, she would have guessed it was Edward. Even Jasper could be mistaken for Lord Cullen's natural son, and Bella had a suspicion that not only was that probably true, but Edward heard it a lot. "Welcome home father," Carlisle said. "Carlisle," he said. His voice was a deep rumble that made Bella want to reach for Alice's hand but she didn't dare move. Bella could see quite a bit of Lord Cullen in Carlisle's features, only softened. "Your eyes tell me that you keep with that ridiculous diet of yours." Carlisle nodded once. "Yes, father." "If you must disgrace me perhaps you could choose a less obvious way." Carlisle didn't say anything. Esme seemed anxious. Bella glanced over towards her and back again. Lord Cullen moved next to Rosalie and Emmett. "How have you been daughter?" he asked. "Very well father," Rosalie said with a gentle nod of her head she looked like she was bursting to tell him good news but she knew it would have to wait. Bella supposed this was a family ritual. He passed by her without another word and looked to Jasper. "Jasper, I hope you're well." "Yes, sir," Jasper said with a nod. "I hear you took another human." "Yes, sir," Jasper said, "the small one." "What was wrong with your last one?" "Her singing voice reminded me of nails on a chalkboard." A flush rose in Jessica's cheeks and Alice wanted to sink away. Lord Cullen didn't look at either of them. "How does the new one sound?" "Satisfactory." "Sing," Lord Cullen ordered, not looking back.

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Bella looked over at Alice who instantly replied by singing a soft and sweet song about a meadow in the spring. One of Jasper's favorites. "Enough," Lord Cullen said. "Acceptable for a human." "Thank you father," Jasper said. Lord Cullen nodded once. "I shall expect dinner at precisely six," he said, sweeping past Edward without a glance at him. They were released and left to their own devices. Bella watched Edward leave for his room. She really hoped he didn't need anything, he looked like he was in a terrible mood. --"So what did you think of Lord Cullen?" Esme asked as they took the laundry out. Bella and Alice folded it and put it in separate baskets. "Scary," Alice said. "I thought I was going to die when he made me sing." "I can imagine," Esme said. "He isn't home very much. When he is however things are run differently. No playing around, no nonsense. Behave and please don't question any order you are given." The last direction was more for Bella than Alice and they all knew it. "I will try," Bella promised. "No, Bella, you will," Esme said. "Its been a short time but already I'm quite fond of you." "Esme I promise I will try as hard as I can, but he just keeps pestering me!" Bella said hotly as she folded one of Edward's shirts. "He thinks that just because he has a lot of money..." "Honey you have no idea," Esme sighed. "...way more than a lot of money he can just push around whoever he wants like he's some sort of god! Just because he drinks blood and I have it doesn't mean that he's somehow better than I am." "No see, kitten, that's exactly what it means," Edward said softly, tugging on a strand of her hair. "Master Edward what are you doing here?" Esme asked. "Oh I just had a feeling my little kitten was going off on a rant about me and came to see what it was about." "Your father won't like that," Esme said. Edward shot her a look. "I need my red sweater for tonight, have you seen it?" "I just hung it up to dry. Be patient, you can't just throw it in the dryer and expect it not to shrivel up!" Edward sighed. "The new machine giving you trouble?" "Not yet," Esme said with a smile. "I think the other one was just getting old."

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"I see." Esme nodded. "Sir, is there anything else you would like? We have a lot left to do." "No, no carry on." Esme nodded and the three of them went back to their chores. --At ten till six the humans assembled in the kitchen to prepare the blood for their vampires. Esme reached into the warmer and took out their favorites. Jessica ladled out a bowl for Emmett and then moved so Angela could take her turn. The line went as such. Esme got a new container full of synthetic blood for Carlisle and Bella noticed that it was lighter in color and smelled different. "Dessert will be Lord Cullen's favorite," Esme said. Bella and Alice looked at each other. More blood? "Blood chocolates," Esme said to them. "I'll show you what I mean in a few moments." At exactly six the girls walked out to bring the vampires their dinner. Esme entered first. She carried the bowl to Lord Cullen and set it gently in front of him. "Enjoy, sir." Lord Cullen nodded once and dismissed her. The siblings got theirs just a moment after. Carlisle sat to his father's right and Jasper across from him. Rosalie sat next to Jasper and Emmett next to Carlisle. Edward was left over and filled the seat by Emmett. "Carlisle," Lord Cullen said after a long silence filled with only the sound of spoons against the bowls. It was graceful watching them eat, Bella had to admit that. Fluid and dainty movements. "Yes, father?" "Have you found yourself a wife yet?" "Not yet, father, I don't believe I'm ready." "Well I believe differently," Lord Cullen sniffed. "Of course, father, I will keep a look out." Bella wondered if Carlisle intended to keep that promise. His eyes looked sad as he went back to his synthetic blood. Bella would have to remember to ask Esme about it later. "Rosalie, you wrote me saying you have good news." "Yes, father, very good news," Rosalie said beaming at Emmett who looked nervously happy. "Well? I love good news, do tell me."

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"Emmett and I are going to have a baby," Rosalie said, nearly bursting at the seams with her excitement. Emmett beamed across the table at her and Bella saw for the first time, a smile on Lord Cullen's face. He had a very beautiful smile. "That is wonderful news, congratulations my dear," Lord Cullen said. Rosalie was too happy to say anything. "When is the baby due?" "January," Rosalie said. "I will have to arrange a baby shower then," Lord Cullen said, "Esme." Esme stepped forward. "Yes, Lord Cullen?" "Make up a list for a baby shower and celebration." "Yes, Lord Cullen," Esme said, bowing her head and stepping back. "Edward," Lord Cullen said, cutting the happiness in the air just by the tone of his voice. Edward looked up. "Yes, father?" "You and Tanya." It wasn't a question but a statement. Bella tried to figure out what was hidden behind his words but came up with nothing. "Tanya and I are well," Edward said, "nothing special to report." "I can't say I'm surprised. How long have you been with this girl?" "Almost a year," Edward said. "I see. Do you see her often?" "Once a day at least," Edward answered, "she is busy with school." "And you aren't?" Lord Cullen asked. "Well...yes...I am...but that isn't..." "You have been keeping up with your schooling yes?" "Yes, I have," Edward began. "Then you must see her there." "She goes to a different school, the all girls school. She's devoting a lot of her time to looking into college." "And are you?" "Yes," Edward said. He looked like he just wanted to get back to his dinner in peace. Lord Cullen wasn't going

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to allow that. "Have you been accepted anywhere?" "I haven't heard back yet." "Then you haven't been accepted," Lord Cullen sighed. "When I applied I was notified of my acceptance the next day!" "That was because grandfather threatened to kill the dean and his family if you weren't!" Edward cried. Lord Cullen closed his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "Tell me Edward could you at least manage to make it through one meal the few times I am home without proving to me that you are a disappointment?" "May I be excused?" "No you may not. You will tell me why my son hasn't been accepted into any of the top schools." "I haven't heard back from them so I don't know if I've been accepted or not!" Edward said angrily. "It's only November! Acceptance letters don't arrive until January at the earliest!" "You are a Cullen, you have your choice of any school in the world. How many have you applied to?" "All of them! I promise you father they will all want me." "Well they had better," Lord Cullen said, "or you and I will be having a very long talk." "Yes, father," Edward said. Bella felt an awkward silence fall over the room. Carlisle looked anxious and Emmett was giving Edward sympathetic side glances. Rosalie was trying to hide her smirk and Jasper was trying to calm the room. "Jasper. Enough." "Yes, father." "You," Lord Cullen said, looking at Bella. "M-me, s-sir?" "Yes, you come here." Bella shakily walked to the head of the Cullen family. "To whom do you belong?" It went against everything she believed in to answer his question. "Master Edward, sir." "I see. Has he used you?" "He has me do chores, sir, if that is what you mean."

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"Don't play innocent with me. Has he used you?" "No, sir." "Good," he said. "No son of mine will do such a thing with a human." Bella felt awkward. She felt all the eyes in the room on her while Lord Cullen ordered her about. "I see you kept your hair." "Y-yes, sir." "Edward." "Yes, father?" "How has this girl behaved?" Bella felt her heart stop and her breath catch in her throat. Edward was going to say for sure not only that she had a defiant streak but probably some other things too. He would probably make something up so that she would be hurt. He would enjoy that too much. "She has a temper," Edward said, "and she likes to think that she can disobey me but it is quite amusing to watch. She's breaking into her role quite well." "You humans," Lord Cullen said with mild disgust in his voice, "you think you're equal to us. It's comical really." Lord Cullen dismissed Bella with a wave of his hand and a hearty laugh. He went back to drinking the blood in his bowl and the meal progressed in silence. When it was time for dessert Esme took Bella and Angela back to the kitchens while Jessica, Rachel and Alice cleared the table. By the time the bowls had been taken, the girls were back with dessert. "Ah, wonderful," Lord Cullen said. Bella carried a silvery tray with three silver goblets bearing the Cullen crest, to her assigned vampires. Esme presented Lord Cullen with his first and then Bella and Angela gave the children theirs. Bella felt Edward's eyes on her when she set his down. She was curious to find out exactly what this dessert was. Lord Cullen picked up his small silver dessert fork and poked one of the dark balls. He pierced it, and blood trickled out of the shell that looked like chocolate. Bella knew of course that the Cullens enjoyed chocolate. Carlisle didn't seem to want to eat his, but his father wasn't going to be giving him a choice in the matter. He swallowed the pieces like a gentleman and kept with the conversation. The talks turned to political matters and Lord Cullen thundered about how the radicals would love to see the king overthrown. "I'll tell you something," he said after swallowing another bite, "The Volturi are doing a fantastic job with the world we live in. Why when I was your age, Edward, the streets were crawling with humans and it smelled horrible! Bringing one in was a hassle. No you kids have it easy, just go to a center and pick one out and they'll prep it for you. I remember my first human, ah she was a pain. I went to a store and bought her and I had to do everything myself! What nonsense is that I ask you?!"

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"Utter nonsense," Rosalie agreed. "That's why I refuse to go to the Centers. Have you smelled them lately?" "Absolutely revolting!" "Well father you must take into consideration that the building is hardly ventilated and there are hundreds of them packed in. From what I've studied about human anatomy and biology..." "Save it books, nobody cares," Rosalie snapped. "If nobody cared there wouldn't be literature on the subject now would there?" Carlisle replied coolly. "Carlisle I wish you wouldn't waste your talents on such pitiful creatures. They aren't like animals. They are an unlimited supply so if one dies just go get another." Bella felt her fists clench at her sides and she bit her tongue. Lord Cullen, unfortunately, noticed. "You," he said, "do you disagree with my comment?" Alice and Esme looked over at Bella with scared eyes wondering if she was crazy enough to go against the Lord. "No, sir," Bella said. "Come here." Bella walked to him. He grabbed her hand and forced her fingers open. He saw the indents in her palm from where her nails dug in. "S-Spasm," Bella said. "Spasm indeed," Lord Cullen sighed. "It is quite common in humans," Carlisle said quickly. "They need to shift occasionally and muscle contractions..." "Bore someone else with your meaningless talk will you? And you, human girl, do you disagree with my statement? Do you believe that you are better than an animal?" "No sir," Bella mumbled. "I'm sorry I didn't catch that. Do humans only mumble or is it just the dumb ones?" "No, sir," Bella said as loud as she could manage. "So humans don't mumble or they aren't dumb? Be clear." Bella felt her throat run painfully dry. She wanted to run away from the terrifying vampire that stood before her. Edward she could take, suddenly his cruelty seemed to be nothing but playful games. What could she say? "I-I-I..."

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"Sir she did not mean to offend you," Esme said. "I did not ask for your opinion, Esme. Tell me then human what do you say no to? Do you think you are better than an animal?" "No, sir, I don't," Bella said. "Do you think you are smart?" "No, sir, I don't." "Do you think I should punish you for your behavior?" Bella hesitated for the briefest of moments "Y..." Too late. Her moment of hesitation cost her dearly. Lord Cullen's powerful hand met her face with an ear splitting crack and the force sent her to the floor. Alice made to help her but Esme held her back. The vampire looked at her. "Do you have a problem as well?" "N-no sir," Alice squeaked. Lord Cullen turned back to Bella and grabbed his cane. He raised his arm to strike her with the cane when Carlisle spoke. "Wait, father, let Edward deal with her. She is his human and as he is old enough to have her he is old enough to discipline her." "Very well," Lord Cullen said. "I will retire for the night." He left and the room was silent. Esme held Alice back and other three girls watched in mute horror. Bella didn't move. Her head was spinning. Her cheek burned from where his rings had caught her skin and tore it. Rosalie went back to her dessert as if nothing was happening. Emmett and Jasper exchanged looks and Edward stood up. He grabbed Bella's arm and pulled her up. "Come with me," he ordered. Bella stumbled after him confused and in pain. "You are insane," he commented as they walked down into the basement. Bella had heard of this. It was where they were sent if they disobeyed. Unlike the rest of the magnificent house this place was cold and dreary. Edward took her down the hall to a small room. He pulled her clothes off and she shivered. "What are you going to do to me?" she asked fearing the worst. Edward didn't answer. He was caught up for the moment with her body. In the Center he was being watched so he couldn't properly take in everything he saw but now he could, when they were alone. He grabbed her hands and fastened them above her head with iron cuffs. She was beautiful in a strange way. Her breasts looked like they could fit in his hand and they looked so soft. His eyes shifted to her nipples, hard from the cold and rosy red. He looked slowly from her breasts down her flat stomach to the soft brown hair between her legs. Edward went to a cabinet on the wall. His father had shown him how to do this once when he was young. It was no big deal then. After all the human had deserved it. Lord Cullen had made it look so easy. Edward came

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back with a whip and turned her around. "You should be thankful that Carlisle said something," Edward said, "my father can tear the skin from bones." Bella winced at the thought and then the first lash came. Sharp and quick but painful. She bit her lip. She wasn't going to scream. She wasn't going to give him pleasure. Another lash and then another. Her back was on fire. "Look at me." Bella managed to turn her head to look at him. Edward came up to her and looked her over again. "Five lashes should do it." He put the other two on her front. One hit her stomach and the other snapped her breast. "Why don't you scream?" "Why would I give you the pleasure?" "You need a sense of self preservation kitten," Edward murmured. "That mouth of yours could get you killed." Edward stopped. He could feel her breath on him. Hot and sweet. Her breasts heaved with each breath and her heart thumped in her chest. Her skin was red from the beating. Edward knelt and licked along the wound on the side and bottom of her breast, taking up the blood. He licked the wound on her stomach too. Bella stiffened as he came back up. He put his hands on her hips and she shivered. "Your blood is too sweet for a human," he murmured. "Stop it," Bella growled. "You are in no position to order me around," Edward said, "especially now. Naked and chained...all I would have to do is unbutton my pants." Bella swallowed. Vivid memories of the vampires raping her mother tore through her mind. Edward rubbed his hips against hers and she jerked away. "Does that frighten you?" He asked. "I could rape you now," he whispered in her ear, "that would teach you to behave. Or maybe it would encourage you to disobey me, so that I might do it again." "I will never be pleasured by you," Bella promised. "Oh don't be so sure," Edward said with a smile. He tapped her nose playfully. "Tanya bet me that I couldn't make her cum. I did. Several times. Girls are the same. They all have the same buttons. Rub their breasts..." Bella cringed as Edward cupped her breast and teased her nipple. "Whisper in their ear," he whispered, "remind them that they try to be a good girl but inside they're dirty and naughty. Girls love dirty talk. Then my hand slips down and my fingers dance on their clit." Bella squeezed her legs closed when Edward reached down to touch her but it was pointless. "When they see how big I am, that is enough to make them moan. With one sharp thrust I claim them and they know pleasure. Do you feel it?"

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Bella felt it alright. Through his jeans she could feel him hardening. Edward looked into her eyes. She was terrified even though she tried to hide it. He sighed. It would be so easy. A sweet victory. He would pound her virginal caverns over and over again until she screamed his name. But he couldn't escape her eyes. She was genuinely scared of him penetrating her. What had she seen to make her so afraid? She was so ignorant in most areas so what made this different? She was a virgin. He would have to find out from her sister somehow. Her body was reacting. As he rubbed her she was getting wet. Bella was zoning out. Her mind was miles away, where he didn't know. He pulled his fingers away and Bella didn't look at him. Her head was still turned and her eyes were closed. Edward reached up and released her. She fell to the ground with an oof. "Let this be a lesson for you," Edward said, "if you cross my father again he will be the one to punish you and he will not stop until you are bloodied and raw, if he even cares enough to keep you alive. Get dressed." Bella pulled her clothes on quickly and followed Edward out of the basement. She returned to the servants quarters and Esme was waiting with bandages. Bella didn't accept them though. She fell into Esme's arms and cried into her shoulder. "What did I do?" Bella asked. Esme didn't answer because she didn't exactly know. She rubbed Bella's shoulder soothingly, avoiding the cuts from the whip. She took Bella to her bed and dressed her wounds. Alice came in a few moments later and ran to her sister. Alice held her the way she always did and sang a soft lullaby for her. --Esme walked into Edward's room and found him studying. "Oh, Esme, what do you want?" Edward asked. "What did you do to Bella?" Esme asked. "What father told me to do," Edward said defensively. "Five lashes seemed enough to appease him." I mean it Edward, what did you do to her? "She should get used to punishment if she is going to keep acting like that," Edward said. Esme glared at him. "I'm trying to finish my homework." "You have to sleep now," Esme said. "I came to make sure you were tucked in." "No," Edward said putting his pen down, "you came to butt in my business. No go and send Bella up, I need her for something." "She is sleeping." "Then wake her up." Esme marched over to his bed, turned down his quilts and then went over to him. "Bed." "You can't tell me what to do!" "Edward you are seventeen, not seven, now go to bed before I call your father."

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Edward glowered at her and threw his books closed and stood. "Fine, but I won't sleep." "Yes you will," Esme promised. "You always do." Edward tried to stifle a yawn but Esme saw it. "See." "You're so hugely irritating!" "Esme knows best," she said, "your father instructed me to take care of you and I am going to obey his orders." "Esme that was when I was little," he reminded her. "You still are," she said. He peeled off his shirt and threw it on the floor. "Hamper." "No," Edward said. Esme sighed. Edward laid down and Esme tucked him in. "I'm old enough to tuck myself in." "And I am old enough to wish you were still seven and manageable," Esme said. "Or rather an infant and relatively silent." Edward stuck his tongue out at her and she gave him a look. "When are you going to stop treating me like a baby?" he asked. "When you stop acting like one," Esme said, "now goodnight." Edward huffed and rolled onto his side. Esme turned out the lights and closed his door. "Master Jasper you too!" "I'm not tired!" Jasper called back "I heard that yawn!" Edward decided that even though she was human Esme had magical powers. She always knew when they were up to something. At least Jasper had it easy, he only slept once a month at best. Edward still had his bi-weekly bedtime that Esme strictly enforced. He had at least five or six years left of that sleeping nonsense and he wasn't happy about it. He rolled onto his back and sighed. Why did she care what he did to Bella anyway? He strained to hear every voice in the mansion until he found the one he wanted. Alice's high mental voice caught his attention and he looked through her eyes. "What did he do to you?" Alice asked as she point ointment on Bella's back. Bella hissed at the cold medication. "Whipped me," Bella said, "it was just...being naked in front of him alone..." "Did he do anything?!" "If he did you'd be lucky," Jessica said, "Master Edward is gorgeous!" "No, just touched me a few times," Bella said quietly, "bragged about his sexual prowess." "Oh my god I walked in on him and his girlfriend once," Rachel said, "he is probably amazing!"

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"Can we stop flattering him?" Alice snapped. "The entire time I just saw mom and what they did to her...I froze and he stopped." "Why did he stop?" Alice asked, smoothing the bandage on her back. "I don't know, I guess because he saw how scared I was. What they did to mom..." Edward pulled away. He had what he needed to know. Esme was playing mother to Bella and Alice as well and he knew all too well how she got when one of her babies was hurt. His phone rang and he picked it up. "Hello?" "Edward! Are you busy?" "Sleeping," Edward sighed. "Oh, boo, listen how about I come and stay with you for break, how does that sound?" "Perfect," Edward said with a smile, "I'll see you in a few weeks!" "Alright! I love you Eddie!" "Aw Tanya you know how I hate that name," he moaned. Tanya laughed. "I love you anyway," she giggled. "I love you too. Bye." He hung up and sighed. Tanya coming to stay would make his father happy. Anything that pointed in the right direction towards a nice marriage. Edward closed his eyes and sighed again. He didn't open them again and drifted off into a deep sleep. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! Chapter 5, Bella had no idea what Christmas was. So naturally she was confused when she and the other humans were ordered to decorate the mansion and prepare for the holidays. She looked around and couldn't even begin to guess what the holiday was even about as she hung yet another wreath with red ribbons. "Do you need help up there?" Jasper asked. "No, sir, I think I'm fine," Bella said. "Kitten you're off by a few inches."

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Jasper rolled his eyes and walked off. Emmett took his place. "So Rosie will be having the baby in about a month, what should I get her?" Emmett asked, taking Jasper's place beside Edward. "I dunno," Edward said with a shrug, "weight loss pills maybe?" "Haha, no, she'd get all offended and kill me," Emmett sighed. "Why don't you get her a trip to a spa or something?" Bella suggested as she fastened a red ribbon to the wall. "A spa? Really?" "Well if vampire birth is anything like human birth it'll be long, painful and tiring and I'm sure that she'd love a full body massage and a weekend away to relax." "Of course!" Emmett whooped, "thanks!" He ran off to make arrangements and Edward went back to watching Bella. She climbed down the ladder and moved to the next wreath placement. "Don't fall," he said in a sing song voice. "Oh go count your money or something," Bella grumbled. Edward laughed and tapped the ladder, sending a tremor up and shaking Bella's balance. "Stop it!" "Make me," Edward said in the same sing song voice. "Good lord are you five?!" "I know you are but what am I?" "That doesn't make any sense?!" Bella cried. "I'm rubber you're glue whatever you say bounces off of me sticks to you!" "You are so irritating!" "Kitten is angry kitten is offended! Fur standing out and little claws extended!" Edward sang. Bella growled nonsense as she hung another wreath. Bella stepped up and tried to hang another ribbon. Her foot caught on the ladder and she slipped. She yelped as she wobbled and then fell. She landed with a loud oof as something hard caught her. She looked up to see Edward. He looked back at her. "Be more careful, geez I don't want to have to clean up the huge splat your big butt will make." "Put me down!" Bella squealed. "Oh what are you going to do if I don't?" Edward asked, laughing. Bella wiggled but it was quite useless, she

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might as well be struggling against iron bands. He laughed as she struggled and after a few moments he set her on her feet. He walked off to his own activities, chuckling. Bella scowled at him as he walked away and then angrily went back to decorating for the strange holiday. --All Bella and Alice were told about the holiday was that the extended family was coming. Bella didn't like the idea of there being more Cullens to deal with but kept silent about it. She looked over at Alice who shrugged. "Alice, Master Jasper will want to see you no doubt," Esme said, "but until he eventually summons you I would like you and Bella to work on preparing the guest rooms. Four of them will require beds for sleeping vampires." Both girls nodded and left to attend to their chores. They were fixing up a bed in the third room, laughing with each other when they got a nasty surprise. "BOO!" "AHHH!" Bella screamed and fell back and Alice ran over to her. They both looked at what had startled her and found, much to their surprise, a little girl with blonde ringlets and wide ruby eyes. "I scared you I scared you!" the child cheered. "Who are you and what are you doing here?" Alice asked before Bella could unleash her anger at the child. That wouldn't go over well at all with anyone. "I'm Anna and I live here sometimes," Anna said as if it were obvious. Alice figured she must be too young to remember which humans worked at the house. In the months that they had been in the mansion they had never seen a child. But then again Rosalie was expecting.... "I know vamps grow like freakishly fast but I don't think they grow that fast," Bella mumbled, as if reading her thoughts. "Probably a relative." "I can hear you," Anna reminded them, annoyed at the lack of attention she was getting. "We're well aware of that!" "Bella be nice!" "She jumped out and scared the crap out of me and you want me to be nice?!" Bella cried. Alice gave her a look and she scowled. Anna crawled out from under the bed and smoothed her green velvet dress. "Where are your parents?" Alice asked, trying to keep a friendly tone in her voice. "Mommy is off with her husband at his family and daddy is off reading I think," Anna said. "Do you belong to daddy?" "No, we belong to Master Jasper and Master Edward." "Oh," Anna said with a shrug, "so you belong to my grandfather's house. I see now."

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Bella stood up and began to fix the bed again. Anna crawled up on the mattress and started jumping up and down. "Now stop that! You're messing it up!" "Make me," she said, sticking out her tongue at Bella. "Don't challenge me!" Bella warned. Alice put a hand on her shoulder. "Bells, honey, she's just a little girl." "Hi-ya!" Anna jumped off the bed and crashed into Bella's chest, knocking them both into the dresser. "OW DAMN IT!" Bella screamed as her spine seemed to form to the edge of the dresser. Anna laughed and Bella coughed, having been fully winded by her scream of pain and the small feet expelling the air from her. "Oh come on you big baby it couldn't have hurt that much," Anna said, rolling her eyes. "Geez you're such a wuss." Bella's fists clenched. "Oh that is it! You little brat!" Anna blew a raspberry at her and called her a name. "Aw kitten don't get too riled up. She's just playing." Bella turned her ferocious glare on Edward who had opened his arms for his niece. "C'mere squirt!" "Uncle Eddie!" Anna cheered. She ran across the room and leapt into Edward's arms. "What did you get me for Christmas?" "Well I think you'll just have to find out later," Edward said, ruffling her hair. She hugged him tight around the neck. "Please tell me!" Edward shook his head, "nope, I'm afraid I can't. Now where did your dad get to? I'm sure he's looking for you." "Nope, daddy gave up a while ago," Anna said proudly. "He couldn't find me at all!" Edward laughed. "Well, what about Esme? Did she find you too?" "Nope," Anna laughed, "but she doesn't have vampire senses like daddy. Can I see what your veins look like?" Bella was so taken back by the question she could hardly answer. All she could do was stand in shock while Edward howled with laughter. "What about your lungs?" Anna asked. "NO!" "Aw you're no fun. Uncle Eddie can you order her to let me see things?"

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"No sweetie I like having her around." "She smells funny," Anna said wrinkling her nose, "not at all like Adam." "She does have an interesting aroma I'll give you that much," Edward agreed. "Are you quite finished?" Bella seethed. Edward sighed and smoothed Anna's golden ringlets. "What do you think Anna? Are we going to go and let kitten finish?" "I want to play some more," Anna said. "Eddie! You left me!" Bella saw two pale arms wrap around Edward's torso. He smiled and put his hand on the new ones. "Hey there sexy," he said with a smile. "Hi skank," Anna said. "Oh! Who taught you that!" Edward gasped. "Uncle Emmy," Anna said proudly, "he said that your girlfriend is a skank but thankfully someone is there to juggle your balls." "Okay that's enough out of you sugar," Edward said giving an apologetic look to Tanya who Bella could see clearly now. There wasn't much to see. She was strawberry blonde and looked about as flawless as any other vampire. But there was something unattractive about her. Bella didn't know if it was the set of her dark red eyes or the way her hair was styled in layers around her too small face but she was definitely unappealing in her opinion. Her flaws looked even more pronounced as Edward was so gorgeous himself. "What will your daddy say if he heard that?" Anna shrugged carelessly. "Take me to daddy," she ordered. Edward set her down and ruffled her hair. "Tell you what pumpkin, I'm going to go talk with Tanya right now but I'm sure you can find him." "Oh fine," Anna pouted. She skipped off anyway and Bella finished tucking the blankets under the mattress. Edward didn't seem above picking the nearest bed to enjoy his girlfriend in. Just as Bella finished smoothing the quilt her vampire master and his barely appealing girlfriend fell onto it and began making out. "Oh for the love of all that's holy!" Bella cried. She threw the pillows onto the couple and left in a huff. She was surly as she walked down the hall. How rude could he get! He was a pig and she was sure of it. She came to an abrupt halt when she turned to the stairs and saw a truly heartwarming sight before her. Carlisle turned on the stairs when he heard small footsteps and smiled.

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Anna ran from the hallway opposite of Bella and squealed in delight as she jumped into Carlisle's arms. "Daddy!" "Hello there my beautiful girl," Carlisle said with a smile. He spun her around and held her tight. He kissed her cheek and forehead. "I missed you so much!" "I was playing hide and seek!" she said proudly. "You are getting to good at that," Carlisle said, "I have so much trouble finding you." Bella watched the exchange. Anna told him all about her adventures and he listened to her, smiling the entire time. His eyes were alight with joy and pure excitement. He loved his baby girl so dearly. He hugged her to his chest when she finished and she smiled against his neck. "I missed you so much daddy," Anna said. Her heart stung. She remembered Charlie and how he would watch her and Alice play with their mother, the same adoring look in his eyes. She remembered being lifted into the air and he would kiss her forehead. Back when all they had was each other... The memories were painful. Carlisle carried his baby girl down the other hallway and Bella was alone. She felt it. She missed her parents so much it hurt. She felt the memories of their faces stabbing her heart over and over again. She had to get away. Somehow she had to sneak away and hide so she could cry. She wanted to cry so badly. She wanted to cry into her mother's shoulder. She could only imagine what Renee was like now. Was she still alive? Was she property again? Was she as lonely as Bella felt? Bella fell to her knees when she remembered the last time she saw her mother's soft face. The pain in her eyes when she saw her two daughters pulled away to new lives. Her shoulders shook with the cries she had struggled to keep tucked inside. Down the hall she heard Edward and Tanya walk out of their room. Whether they actually had sex or not Bella didn't know. She didn't care. She just had to get away. She stole into the closet and curled her arms around her legs. She squeezed her eyes closed and pretended that she was home. She was back in her hole underground. Her mother was serving her and Alice thin soup that tasted like barely flavored water. Charlie put his rough hand on her head and she smiled up at him. "Eat up little ones," he murmured. They weren't going to eat that night. There wasn't enough. Vampires were too near so they couldn't go and hunt down dinner. Renee and Charlie went without, refusing to let their daughter's share their small portions with them. Bella felt Renee's warm arms around her as they sat in bed and Charlie told them a story. Alice looked up at him and smiled and he brushed hair form her forehead. Then reality came back with a harsh cold weight. Those days were gone. Bella knew she would never see her parents again. If by some miracle she could see Renee for just a moment, she knew there was absolutely no way that she could see Charlie again. Her daddy was gone for good and all she had left was Alice, and that was until the vampires grew tired of them. That earned more sobs. Bella shook with violent cries and every time she tried to compose herself the cries began again. She saw images of her family torn apart in her mind. How much had her father's body decomposed in their little home? Was there even a home left? Did new humans find it and take over?

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She couldn't breathe. Her lungs struggled to keep what little air was being forced out of her. She gasped over and over again but as quickly as the air came in it was pushed out and her head was starting to spin. Her vision was blurring and she felt weak. --Edward watched her as she slept. Her dark hair covered the gold pillows like matted seaweed. She was on her side, breathing heavily. Her body curled up into itself and she moaned softly in her sleep. "Mom...Dad..." Edward wondered what she was dreaming about exactly. More importantly, what had pushed her to have such a violent panic attack that led to him finding her unconscious after following her cries. There was something lovely about her. He noticed it as he carried her small body to his room to let her rest. Emotions crossed her features quickly. Most of all Edward saw pain. What kind of pain? He heard that humans often abused each other. Did her parents abuse her? He decided that they probably did. That seemed probable. Humans were so violent with each other, especially the males, when they were in the wild. She was far too beautiful to be human. Edward decided that as he watched her sleep. He looked at the soft angles of her face. Her lips were almost cute. Her upper lip was just a bit fuller that her lower but they looked so soft. Kissable somehow. He shook his head of that last thought. Bella wasn't kissable! But she smelled good. Her beautiful natural scent. Floral somehow and lovely. Her scent spiked when she was angry and a flush filled her cheeks. She turned in her sleep and he hesitated. She was on her back now. He could see the soft rise and fall of her chest as she slept. She was in a new cycle, peaceful for a moment before more nightmares. Edward stood and walked to her bedside. Her breathing was soft. He examined her face in detail. Her dark lashes stood out against her soft pale skin. The shadows under her eyes made him wonder how much sleep she had missed. He knelt down and and rested his chin on his folded arms. He wished he could hear her dreams. --"How is she?" Alice asked. "Calmer now," Jasper said, "but she still has nightmares." Alice hugged her knees and he touched her shoulder. "Are you thirsty?" Alice asked. "Keep offering and I'll become a fat old vampire." He opened his arms and Alice walked over to him. He pulled her into his lap and put her arms loosely around her waist. "I miss them," she said softly. "I'm sorry," Jasper said, "please don't be sad." "I'm sorry," Alice mumbled, "it's just...one minute we were all together and the next Bella and I are being sold."

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"Please," he begged in a soft whisper, "you know I hate it." "Shall I sing for you?" "I wish you would," Jasper whispered. Alice sang to him. She sang soft and beautiful words. While she sang Jasper drew her blood softly. The song was slow and gentle with some sadness. Jasper closed his eyes while he drank slowly from her. Her blood was sweet. He loved it very much. "You were adopted," he said when she finished singing. It wasn't a question. "Haven't I told you that before?" Alice asked. "Perhaps," Jasper said, licking her wrist. "You seem a little too interested," Alice said. Jasper didn't say anything as he was in mid lick. "I was adopted," he said, "I was quite young when my parents died. I am rumored to be an illegitimate child but nobody believes that. I was probably two when Lady Cullen died and father was loyal to her." "How old were you?" Alice asked. "Six," Jasper answered. "I don't remember much about my birth parents. I just know that they were loyal to Lord Cullen. My mother was to be his wife but then he met Lady Cullen and fell in love. They stayed dear friends." "What exactly is your father the lord of?" Alice asked. "Area one," Jasper said, beaming, "this is the biggest in the kingdom and he works directly with our rulers." "I didn't know you had rulers," Alice said, honestly amazed. "Oh yes, there are three kingdoms that divide the world. We are ruled by King Aro. He's a silly man but he is a skilled leader. My father is the commander of his army as well as a member of Chambers, which is a governing body. That keeps him away most of the year." "But why? If the king is in this area?" "The kingdom is vast," Jasper said, "Aro's kingdom consists of the entire North-Western hemisphere and parts of the South-Eastern." "I'm a little confused," Alice admitted. Jasper stood, not even bothering to let her stand, and carried her across his room to his desk. He pulled out a book and opened it. Alice looked at the colorful maps with eyes filled with wonder. "See here," he said pointing to North America, "this is Aro's kingdom, spreading all down here through the central area and a bit below here. This is area one, here in the heart of the kingdom. It's in a central location." "So it is accessible to all of the areas?" Alice asked. "More for a military strategy," Jasper said, his voice bright and happy as if talking about his favorite hobby,

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"don't you see? With the king in the center of his kingdom it is harder for opposing armies to reach him. They have to go through tens of thousands of miles just to reach him." "But what about the people of the kingdom?" Alice asked, "doesn't that put them at greater risk?" "Well that doesn't matter as much," Jasper said with a casual shrug, setting her on his desk. "Listen, I know it sounds cold and unfeeling but it is militarily the best option. Have you ever played chess?" "Um...no." "Okay come here I'm going to show you quick," Jasper said taking her hand and pulling her onto her feet and across the room. He had a solid gold and silver chess set waiting for a game. "I usually play with Carlisle, what with Edward and his cheating." "Oh that isn't nice," Alice said, "how can he cheat?" "The whole mind reading thing," Jasper said with a casual wave of his hand. "Master Edward can read minds?!" Alice cried. "Oh, you didn't know? Just like I can read emotions he has a talent as well. Don't worry, he usually puts up mental shields that and he believes that it is below him to listen in on humans." "How nice of him," Alice muttered. Jasper chuckled and sat her down. He explained each of the pieces and when he finished he held up the king. "This is the target. The object of the game is to simply capture the king. Very similar to military strategy. When you take the king you take the kingdom. The loss of the innocent is unfortunate." "Only if the innocent is vampire, am I correct?" Jasper pretended like he hadn't heard her. "How about a game?" "I couldn't possibly hope to beat you," Alice said as Jasper took the other seat. "It would be nice all the same," Jasper said. --A few days later Alice was distracted by the falling snow. She watched as the flakes came down in big puffs while she balanced Jasper's laundry basket on her hip. She could see herself as a little girl in the snow. The first time she saw the snow. She was five or six. Usually her parents didn't let her go out when it was so cold, as they had very thin clothing. She remembered the soft puffy white was strange to her. She had been underground for so long sometimes she forgot about what the outside world was like. Charlie was with her, rugged and battered as always but still smiling as he held her on one hip and Bella on the other. Alice sensed the presence of someone else and turned around quickly. It was Jasper. She bowed her head quickly to him. "Master Jasper, I'm sorry I got distracted." "It was calm," Jasper said, "what were you thinking about?"

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He felt the emotions fill with sadness. "The first time I saw the snow fall. I was about six." "So old," Jasper said. "I don't remember much before my birth parents died, but when Charlie and Renee adopted me we lived underground. We didn't have good clothes so mom didn't let us out in the cold very often." Jasper came up to the window. He looked like he was about to say more but they were both distracted when they saw Bella running out into the snow and heard her yelling back at Edward who threw a snowball at her. Jasper closed his eyes and Alice put a hand over her mouth. "It's amazing people think you're related." "Oh, I told her to mind herself," Alice moaned. "Master Jasper if I lost her..." "Oh, I'm pretty sure Edward starts over half of these little fights." "Can you be sure?" "I can hear him much better than you can," Jasper reminded her. Bella slipped on the ice as she avoided another snowball and crashed onto her bottom. Edward nearly fell over laughing and pelted her with snow. "Kitten is cold!" Bella stood up angrily. "Don't try storming off just yet kitten," Edward said. "Oh and why not?" Bella seethed. "Because you can't manage to walk across a dry surface without falling, let alone an icy one." Bella clenched her fists and stormed off. She slipped a little and Edward laughed. "I HOPE THE DRYER SHRINKS YOUR CLOTHES!" Bella screamed. "And I hope you trip on your way up to get my clothes," Edward called after her. He looked up and saw Jasper looking down at him. "And what may I ask are you looking at?" "You being a dope," Jasper said with a laugh. Edward raised his hand up to gesture towards Jasper. He pretended to be offended. Edward laughed and went inside, palming a snowball for when he met up with his brother. --Bella sighed as she dusted yet another framed picture. Now she was wondering if Edward was just making up jobs for her. It sure seemed like it. Dust the portraits up in the north wing. Bella could think of a million other jobs that would have been better. Yet here she was with a feather duster in hand, brushing it over the paintings. What a waste it was too, in her opinion. The dust was only going to resettle in the same place. She was irritated and she hated it. She hated looking at the portraits too. Beautiful vampires with their perfect families. It made her sick.

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At the end was the current Cullen family. A new portrait for each new child. Bella paused when she saw these ones. They all had the same faces. Lord Cullen stood with his hair a brilliant shade of gold, his eyes healthy red for a vampire, and his hand on the shoulder of his firstborn. His arm was around the shoulder of a simply breathtaking woman. Bella caught herself staring at the woman's exquisite face. Bella now saw just how much of Lord Cullen was in each of his children. His wife, the late Lady Cullen, was hard to see in their faces. In the shape of Carlisle's eyes perhaps, or the fullness of Rosalie's lips. Waves of bronze hair framed her beautiful face. Her eyes, vampire red, were soft with thick lashes. Edward looked more like his mother than any of the other children. "Got distracted?" Bella jumped and saw Carlisle. "You nearly gave me a heart attack!" Carlisle chuckled. "What do you think?" "I think it looks like a typical vampire family, too physically flawless to be real." Carlisle laughed and walked up to the painting, "I miss her terribly sometimes," he said, getting lost in his memories. "She has a very kind face," Bella said. Carlisle smiled and nodded. "Father loved her dearly. He absolutely cherished her. He would tell me that she was his greatest treasure." "That sounds like how my..." Bella cut off, thinking about Charlie was painful. Thinking about Renee was painful too. "Pardon?" "Sorry," Bella mumbled, "I got lost in my thoughts." "Your parents are gone then?" Carlisle asked. "Vampires killed my father. They drained him because he was so old and broken that they didn't have a use for him. He was a fugitive. So was mom." "Did they kill her too?" Carlisle asked. "Define kill," Bella whispered. "Physically? No, they just raped her until she couldn't move because they had to keep Alice and myself intact. They brought her to the Center with us and sold her as well. Physically she may still be alive. I hope she is, but at the same time I hope she isn't. To lose her husband, her dignity and her children all within a week or so..." "I'm sorry to hear that," Carlisle said sincerely. "That would explain your, hem, behavior problems." Bella looked out of the window. The snow was falling again. "What gives you the right to own me?" Bella asked. "I mean what gives your people the right to take mine and use them the way they have?"

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"That is a very good question," Carlisle said, "and one I'm afraid will probably never be answered. We are good people. Most of us anyway." Bella looked at Carlisle with a dry skeptical look. "The first vampires I met destroyed my family, the second vampires I met stripped me and poked and prodded, the third vampires I met bought me and one of them takes sick pleasure in tormenting me daily! I have only met one vampire that I would call decent, and that is you." "If you get to know him, Edward really isn't that bad," Carlisle said, "granted he is a brat who thinks everything must go his way, but he is a good person deep down." Bella raised her eyebrows. "He has fun with you," Carlisle said, "he enjoys seeing that angry flush you get. Father taught him very well that vampires are the masters of this world and everything else is just beneath us. He has taught all of us that, I'm just the only one that seems to think otherwise. But I'm sorry to cut our conversation short," Carlisle said noticing the time, "I must be off. Keep your head up, Bella, and don't let Edward get you down." Bella nodded and Carlisle patted her head before walking off. Bella turned back to the painting of the Cullen family. She noticed something about the five beaming faces. Edward wasn't one of them. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! Songs for this chapter: Save the best for last by Vanessa Williams I hate everything about you by Three Days Grace Chapter 6, Esme walked around the house putting the finishing touches on the decorations for Christmas. At her heels little Anna Cullen trotted along licking a blood-pop. "Careful not to get your hands sticky," Esme said as a reminder, "otherwise your daddy will know that I've been giving you sweets." "Esme how come you are nicer than my mommy?" Anna asked as she bounced around her heels. Because your mommy is a slutty heartless bitch "Oh now Anna you shouldn't say such thing," Esme scolded lightly, "your mother loves you dearly." "No she doesn't," Anna grumbled, "she wants to send me to a boarding school next year. Her stupid husband wants it too."

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"Oh? Well that can't be too bad can it?" Esme asked as she straitened some throw pillows. "It's all the way in area twenty! That's a million miles away!" "Well I'm sure your mommy and daddy are doing this because they think it's best," Esme said, "try to stay positive, Anna." "George isn't my daddy!" Anna snapped angrily. Esme sensed danger and scooped the little vampire into her arms. "Oh now baby don't cry," she cooed. "Hush now love." "I don't wanna be away from daddy," Anna sobbed into Esme's hair. "I want to stay with him. I don't like George." "There now love," Esme murmured rocking slowly. "Hey girls," Carlisle said cheerfully. He caught Anna's face and stopped. "Baby girl what's wrong?" "Daddy I want to stay with you," Anna sobbed. Carlisle held his arms out and Esme passed his daughter to him. "I don't want to live with mommy and George anymore." "Honey what's wrong?" Carlisle asked rubbing soothing circles on her back. "They're sending me to a boarding school in area twenty! Daddy don't let them make me go!" "Hush now love, it's alright," Carlisle promised, his handsome face was growing angry, "daddy isn't going to let them send you away." He left with his crying daughter to put her down for a nap and shortly after he came back to find Esme waiting with a concerned expression. "They can't be serious," Esme said. "It was that damn George's idea I know it," Carlisle growled. "I thought that when she said boarding school she meant nearby, but area twenty...that's at the edge of the kingdom!" "It's where rich parents send their children to get them out of the way," Carlisle said grimly, "father was going to send Edward there but his job kept him away from home enough." Esme couldn't help but look in the general direction of Edward's room with a sad expression on her face. Carlisle took her hand and she turned her head. "What is it?" "Anna wanted you to sing to her before she went to sleep," Carlisle said. Esme nodded and followed him upstairs to the child's room. Anna was hugging her stuffed bear when they came in. She sat up and Esme walked over to her. They both sat on the bed and Esme laid beside the little girl. Anna scooted over and

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snuggled into her arms. "Would you like me to sing you a lullaby, Anna?" Esme asked. Anna nodded. Esme smiled and kissed her forehead before singing a soft rendition of baby mine. Carlisle watched them as Esme sang. She curled her arm around his daughter and the little girl scooted even closer. She yawned and Esme smoothed her hair in a soft rhythm. Half through the song Anna was drifting. Her little eyes were struggling to stay open but to no avail. By the time Esme finished Carlisle could hear his daughter's breathing soften into that of sleep. Carefully, Esme detached from the child and Carlisle tucked his baby in. They left the room, closing the door with a soft snap. "Come sit with me for a while," Carlisle invited. Esme nodded. The others could handle the few chores left. Esme always liked Carlisle's room. It had been his since he was a child but it had changed since then. Instead of toys littering the floor he had rows and rows of thick volumes in bookshelves all across the grand bedroom (the second largest next to Lord Cullen's). There was a king sized bed in the center of the back wall with deep blue coverings. The bed was merely used as a resting place now. Occasionally Carlisle enjoyed reading in bed. When he had been married it had another purpose but Esme knew that the mattress had not seen that kind of action in years. Carlisle opted for the bed instead of his chair. He fell into it with a tired sigh. Esme felt alarmed at the sound. "Are you okay?" she asked. "Hm? Just a little tired," he admitted. "It's been years since my last nap. Every once in a while I like to take one. Maybe I'll take one soon." "You should see a doctor," Esme said sitting beside him, "Carlisle if you're sleeping at your age something is wrong." "Nonsense," Carlisle said waving his hand, "besides, I know why I'm like this. My diet doesn't provide the same strength." "I thought it did," Esme said, "Carlisle you promised me that it was healthy." "And it is, but science isn't able to mimic every aspect of human blood. It's fine, Esme, I'm also until some emotional stress." "Do you need me to get you a drink?" Esme asked. "No, no I'm fine," Carlisle sighed, rolling onto his side. "I'm just having a spell that's all." Esme looked skeptical but he wasn't going to keep talking about it. The skin around his eyes looked a bit darker. "If you need it, I'm here." "Hm?" "If you need my blood," Esme said, "I'm always here for you." "Esme I don't drink human blood," Carlisle reminded her. "It isn't fair to you that I use you like that."

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"I don't mind you know that," Esme said. Carlisle gave her a weak smile and squeezed her hand. "You're so good to me. The best human I have ever met." Esme flushed and his smile brightened. "You look so cute when you blush." Her blush deepened and he chuckled. He tugged on her hand and she laid beside him. "Of all the people I have had in my life you are among my favorite," Carlisle murmured, "you've always been so loyal to me and you've been more than that, you've always been my best friend. You were there for me when mom died and then again when Carrie left me, taking my little girl with her. I've been too selfish to give you your freedom." "Carlisle giving me my freedom will put me back into a world where there is no such thing for people like me," Esme said, "this is where I want to be and if you released me I'd only make one of your brothers take ownership." "Don't worry," Carlisle said with a smile, "I'm too selfish to let you leave. I need you too much." Esme didn't say anything. Carlisle reached over and tucked some of her hair behind her ear. "What are you thinking?" "I can't tell you," Esme sighed. "Please," Carlisle moaned. Esme looked at him. His sweet pinkish eyes were looking back at her wide and innocently. "Carlisle you must know." He touched her cheek, it was burning beneath his fingers. Esme was trembling softly. He moved closer to her and her breath caught in her chest. "Esme..." "I can't tell you...I can't risk it." He closed his eyes. Esme waited. He was so beautiful. The lavender of his soft eyelids flowed beautifully into his pale skin and his blonde lashes kissed his cheek. Soft blonde brows were relaxed and soft. Esme looked form his eyes down his perfectly shaped nose and cheekbones to his lips that looked like pale pink marble. His eyes opened and they were darker and not just in color. The pale red had given into a deeper shade. There was so much to look at. So many emotions for her to read but one of them stood above them all. Before she could figure out what it was his icy stone hands trapped her head and his hard lips crashed against hers. Esme had never been kissed before, a fact she didn't like people to know as she was well into her middle ages, so she had nothing to compare it too. But Carlisle's kiss was wonderful. Her lips molded around his and she had barely a moment to marvel at how velvety smooth his lips were before they had parted and commanded control of her mouth with his tongue. Who was she to object? Overcome by the sensations Esme lost all her rational thought. Her arm slipped under his and she clutched his shoulder tight. Her other hand balled around his shirt. She came to her senses as Carlisle fell into a smooth and very delightful rhythm with his tongue and she made a noise. He pulled away and looked at her. She was gasping for air and her cheeks were flushed. He was panting himself even though he had no need for air. It just felt natural. He touched her soft hair and twisted it around his fingers.

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"I love you," Esme breathed against his lips, "damn it Carlisle I've loved you for years." "You know me," he said with a dry breathy laugh, "I fail at picking up hints." Esme laughed the same breathy laugh and he kissed her again. She felt just how much he loved her grow between them and her cheeks burned. She pressed closer to him and he tensed. She pulled away but he wasn't having that. Before Esme could say anything she was on her back and Carlisle was above her. "How much time I've wasted..." he breathed, kissing away from her swollen lips and along her jaw, "if I had told you what I felt for you..." "Why didn't you?" Esme asked thickly as he kissed her neck. "Well why didn't you?" "I was terrified of what you'd say," Esme muttered. "Exactly," Carlisle said. He stopped kissing her when a thought occurred to him. He propped himself up on his elbows and looked at her. "Is that why you didn't like Carrie?" Esme flushed and muttered something about being a little jealous. Carlisle laughed and hugged her. "Oh Ezzy." The sound of the childhood nickname he had for her made her heart race. He touched her cheek as he pulled back and smiled. He nuzzled into her neck and sighed. "You must know what I want to do," he said quietly. "I could hurt you. I'm not entirely myself when I'm like this." "I'm yours, Carlisle, I always have been." "I don't want you to do this because I am technically your master," Carlisle said, "do you want me, Esme? Please tell me the truth?" "The truth?" Carlisle nodded, looking deep into her eyes. "The truth is that I have dreamt of having you for years," Esme said, "and I hated that you were giving yourself to her." "I will try my best not to hurt you," Carlisle promised, "please, please tell me if I have hurt you at all." Esme nodded. Carlisle got down to business and her heart was racing so fast she was sure it was going to escape her chest. The last time she was naked in front of Carlisle they were both kids and looked basically the same. He was far from that now. His chest was perfectly defined, lean and powerful. There was fine blonde hair on his chest and then again trailing from his belly button south. When Esme got to that her cheeks flamed and Carlisle laughed softly. The last time she had seen his penis it was several inches smaller. But now it was much larger and standing proud in a nest of gold. "Adequate?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.

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"More than adequate," Esme gasped. Carlisle laughed again and kissed her gently. He pulled back to take his time to look her over. She was so natural, quite unlike his vampire ex. There were more colors to her body as well. Her nipples were rosy and her skin was pale and pinker than his. But even then some areas were paler. Her arms were tanned from working in the garden only a short time ago. She wasn't as clean cut as his former lover had been because she didn't have the time to spend on it. He noticed that her legs and armpits had a fine stubble that he hadn't seen before. It made sense when he thought about it. It took too much time to shave daily and they had only a short time to bathe the entire group. But Carlisle found that he liked it. He didn't know why exactly but he did. "I know I'm probably not as pretty or..." "Stop right there," Carlisle said, "you are more beautiful than any girl in the world." It was a lie and she knew it but maybe to him it was true. He kissed her breasts and licked her nipple, nipping lightly on the rosy flesh and she yelped but moaned as well. While he suckled her his fingers dipped in between her legs. Esme gasped and Carlisle smiled. So she liked that. He would have to remember that. He hadn't ever considered himself a success in bed. He was more into the intimacy of it all. But he was determined to make Esme feel the greatest pleasure ever. By the time he was finished teasing her with his fingers he felt like he was going to burst. He licked his fingers and found that he still didn't care much for the taste (though Esme had a different variety of flavors and it didn't taste quite as metallic) but that didn't matter much. He kissed her again and reached down to guide himself in. Esme gasped and he moved slow, letting her body adjust to him. "Are you alright?" he asked. Esme nodded and kissed his lips. Carlisle felt a bubble in his chest. The primal instincts were taking over and Carlisle had to keep his head about him. He began to move and Esme cried out softly. "Carlisle...god Carlisle please not so hard." "I'm sorry," Carlisle murmured, slowing his thrusts and taking some of the strength form them. "Is this better?" "Y-y-yes," Esme gasped. She dug her nails into his shoulders. Carlisle threw his head back and tried to keep from moving harder, but he did go faster. Esme's breath grew thinner and her hold on him grew tighter. He dropped his head down and gripped her shoulder with one hand. Esme squeezed her eyes closed and whimpered. Suddenly he felt so primal. He could see the veins in her neck pulsating with each quick beat of her heart. "Do it," Esme moaned. "Please." "Es...me...mm..." They were so close. She came first, her body gripped him and squeezed him. Carlisle let out a cry and as he came his teeth sank into her neck. Esme whimpered and moaned, bringing on hand to cup his jaw as he lapped up her blood. She realized it was a disturbing turn on for her to want him to drink from her but she felt strangely beautiful and powerful as he held her trembling and sweating body while he drank her blood. She carried what he needed to survive. She kissed his neck and he finished. He licked the wound, sealing it. He looked back at her. His soft reddening eyes and flushing cheeks were the last thing she saw before she fell into a nice satisfied sleep. ---

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Edward was sitting in his overstuffed armchair reading when Bella came in with new sheets. He didn't say anything to her while she stripped the mattress and put them aside to wash. Bella was on guard, waiting for a torment of some kind. "Have many people showed up yet?" Edward asked. "Not that I know of," Bella said, "I've been busy helping at the market." "Oh," Edward sighed, turning the page. "Did you finish with the portraits?" Edward asked. "Yes." Bella looked at Edward. She remembered waking up in his bed. No matter how much he teased her afterwards, there was something she didn't understand about the whole situation. What all happened when she was unconscious? "There is something I wanted to know," she said. Edward looked up from his book. "When I woke up...the other day...in your bed..." "Yes?" "Why did I wake up there?" Edward raised an eyebrow. "Because you were passed out?" he said slowly. "I realize I passed out...but why did I wake up in your bed?" "Aw do you think I did something?" "I wouldn't put it past you," Bella answered coolly. Edward grinned. He stood up and walked up to her while she tucked in a corner of the fitted sheet. "Well, Tanya was out shopping and I do have needs. You are my human after all." Bella's eyes widened. "Y-you didn't..." "You have a cute little birthmark on your bottom," Edward teased. His smile faded when he saw that Bella was about to cry. "I'm not serious! Well the birthmark is cute, but I didn't do anything to you. I found you in the hall after you passed out." "Did you just make a joke about raping me?" Bella asked. "Oh come on kitten I was just playing around. Don't be so sensitive!" "Don't be so sensitive?! You didn't just call me a name or something! You actually made me think that you did that to me!" "Like I would even want to have sex with you, conscious or not!"

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"Whether or not you want to isn't even relevant!" Bella said angrily. "How dare you tell me that I'm being overly sensitive! You don't know what I've been through! You don't know a damn thing about me! You stupid selfish vampire!" "Don't even begin to tell me what I am! I have my own issues and you don't know a damn thing about those!" "I know exactly what you are," Bella said in a calm and cool voice, "you are a spoiled selfish little boy who has had everything given to him on a silver platter. I grew up with nothing but my family in a hole in the ground until I was brought here so you could play master. But it's you I feel sorry for." "Oh really? And why is that?" Edward growled. "Because at the end of the day I don't need to push people around and make fun of others to make myself feel good about myself." "That's ridiculous!" "You're right, it is, and yet it is how you live. You think that if you can show your father that you can be a firm master then maybe he'll pay attention to you. That's what you really want isn't it? You have everything in the world that you could ever desire but what you really want is your dad to pay attention to you and that leaves you bitter and angry because you can't get what you want. So you go around picking on me and pushing me around, well I'll tell you this right now I am sick and tired of it." "I am your master and..." "And I will do my chores and whatever miniscule task you throw at me but I will never roll over and call you master." Edward was silent. He wasn't just silent, he was shaken. Bella was looking at him with her furious dark eyes and she was trembling with rage. His own fists had balled and he wished that she was a man because then he could hit her as hard as he wanted. But she was a fragile human. But could he even hit her? He grabbed her shoulders, fully intent on punishing her for her outburst. He heard his father's voice in his head telling him exactly what to do about her attitude. Take her into the basement and whip the skin off of her. Or since this was the most recent of many insults something more drastic. He head heard of vampires sewing shut the mouths of their humans who had the same problem as Bella. But she's right. He was still silent, giving her the proof she needed that everything she said was true. His nails were in her flesh. He could smell her sweet blood. With an angry snarl he thrust her back and she coughed as her back hit the wall, knocking the wind from her. "You little bitch!" "I'm right," Bella gasped, trying to gulp down air, "aren't I?" "Don't talk about what you don't understand," he snarled, seizing her shoulders. Bella looked up at him, her eyes as fiery as ever.

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"Follow your own advice," she whispered. Edward was in shock. Her cheeks were flushed. Her scent was powerful and captivating. He hated her with his last breath. But he couldn't punish her for her words or her actions. If she had been his father's human that smart ass of hers would have been beaten raw and she would have been as submissive and docile as she was supposed to be. He had found her spark amusing. Her silent mind captivated him. He had given up on trying to understand why he couldn't read her. He thought he got flashes of her thoughts in her eyes but he wasn't sure. Their eyes were locked and her breath was back though her chest was still heaving and it was thin. He felt the strangest impulse crash through his body. He didn't want to whip the skin off of her back, he wanted her on her back. He wanted her legs spread and his weight between them, pounding into her while she screamed. Whether he wanted them to be screams of pleasure or pain he still didn't know. He felt both right now. He wanted to bring her the greatest pain the world has ever known and the greatest pleasure. His hands cupped her face. Her cheeks were boiling. Her eyes still locked on his. He could crush her but he wouldn't. He pulled her and crashed his lips against hers. The kiss was hard and forceful. He felt her lip catch on her teeth and he could smell the small droplets of blood. He pressed his body against hers, pinning her against the wall. He pushed his tongue deep into her mouth, tasting the blood. Bella squirmed against him. She swung at him but she may as well have swung at a statue. All the same he grabbed her wrists and held them with his hands. He felt the kiss somehow change. No longer forceful and dominating. He found himself kissing her the way he kissed Tanya. He found his rhythm with his tongue, caressing hers and bringing her deeper. Bella didn't know what to think. When his lips crashed to hers she knew what was going to happen. He was going to rip her clothes off and rape her. Her lip was bleeding, he liked that. His tongue was filling her mouth in a way that demanded submission. He held her so tight. He was going to rape her for sure. He was going to beat her into submission. She squirmed against him and it was useless. He held her wrists and she was basically immobile. Then his kiss changed. It softened. His tongue began to rub against hers gently and his lips massaged hers. One of his hands moved to her neck, cradling her head with his fingers. Her fingers twitched and her eyes drifted closed. She wanted to run her fingers through his hair, was it as soft as it looked? Her body started to react in an unexpected way. Was she really turned on by this?! Bella didn't know what to think! Her hand moved on it's own, locking in his thick bronze hair. It was soft and silky. She realized that while she was hating everything about him her arm was locking around his neck and her tongue was rubbing against his. His arm, strong as steel and cold as ice, was tight around her waist. He felt his arousal begin to stir. He didn't know why it was awakening for a human and he was disturbed enough to realize just what they were doing. He pushed away, ending the kiss. Bella looked at him, her lips were red and a little swollen from kissing. Her chest was heaving as she tried to catch her breath again. "Leave me," Edward said quietly. Bella left without a word. She ran out of his bedroom and down the hall to find something, anything, to take her mind off of what just happened. --When Esme woke up Carlisle was laying on his back with his arm over his eyes and the blanket drawn up over his bare chest. She smiled and took the vacant space at his side, wrapping her arm around his stomach and kissing his shoulder. "I'm sorry Ezzy," he said.

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"Sorry for what?" she asked, tracing shapes on his chest. "Biting you and hurting you," Carlisle said. Esme took his hand and he looked at her. His eyes were deep scarlet and he did look very apologetic. "I'm fine," she assured him. "Your shoulder," he sighed, "I knew I was being too rough but I couldn't stop! You're like a drug, Esme!" "Um...thanks?" Esme sat up and tried to see what he meant. She looked over and saw bruising on her shoulder that matched his hand. But she also noticed tenderness between her legs. She remembered asking him to take it a little easier and she remembered that he did. "Tell you the truth," she said, "I'd gladly risk any injury you can dish out to be with you like this, if only once." "Don't say that," Carlisle moaned. He sighed and looked at her. She was looking a little upset. "I'm sorry, I'm being rude." "I'm sorry you had to hold back," Esme said, "but thank you." Carlisle leaned over and kissed her forehead. "How long until you have to leave?" "Um..." Esme leaned over to look a the time, "half hour at the most." "Perfect," Carlisle purred, taking her lips to begin another round. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! Chapter 7, Bella had a faint idea of what Christmas was now. That morning the humans assembled in the living room to watch their vampires open the brightly colored presents from under the tree. It was a boring experience in Bella's opinion and it just proved her belief that the family had too much money. Carlisle showered his daughter with toys and games and that wasn't including what her uncles got for her. It was sweet watching the little girl crawl around. In the end she decided that she wanted to sit with her grandfather. She crawled into Lord Cullen's lap and he accepted her. He patted her head and put a barrette in her hair made of gold and encrusted with rubies. "There you go princess," "Thank you grandpa!" She squealed hugging him around the neck. "Carlisle tell Carrie that I would like my granddaughter to be her more," Lord Cullen said.

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"I actually want to discuss that with you if you have the time," Carlisle said quietly. "I have time now," Lord Cullen said. "Esme how about you take Anna and get her a blood pop," Carlisle said. "Yay!" Anna cheered jumping up. She ran to Esme and jumped into her arms. Esme left and Carlisle turned to his father. "Carrie wants to send her to the boarding school in area twenty," Carlisle said grimly, "obviously I do not want my child so near the boarders, first off, and I do not want her so far away from me." "What are you asking?" Lord Cullen asked. Bella had a feeling that he knew, but he wanted Carlisle to ask him to do something that might be illegal. "Get her out," Carlisle said simply. "Are you positive that she has been accepted?" "Yes, I did some digging after she told me." He handed his father an envelope and Lord Cullen opened it. He read over it quickly and sighed. "So it seems. Well I will make sure that no granddaughter of mine is shipped off." "Thank you father," Carlisle said with a smile. Just moments later Anna ran into the room and jumped into Carlisle's lap, licking her blood pop and taking the package that Emmett handed to her. Edward seemed to be a little down. He smiled with his family and laughed when Anna unwrapped Emmett's present and slipped on the wrapping paper when she went to hug him. He could see his father's thoughts, reflecting on happy moments around the Christmas tree with his wife. A much younger Lord Cullen was alive in his memory, with his arm around a woman with flowing bronze hair as she adored a diamond necklace he had given her. "Carlisle it is so beautiful! Thank you!" "I tried to find you something that would rival your beauty, but I couldn't find such a thing," he said, "Caroline you are so dear to me." She smiled at him. He brushed his hand over her bronze hair and then went down to touch her stomach. "Our first child, can you believe it?" "The first of many I promise you," he promised. He opened his arms and Caroline snuggled into his arm. "Just remember I'm the one giving birth so we most certainly are going to stop eventually," she said with a giggle as he kissed her neck. His hands rested on her belly and he smiled when the baby moved. "What shall we name him or her?" "If he is a boy then we shall name him Carlisle," he said, "the seventeenth in the line." "And if she is a girl?"

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"I have always been fond of the name Rosalie," Carlisle decided, "if we have a girl that will be her name." "I know we've only been married for a year, but I know that we'll be together forever," Caroline said, turning to kiss him. "You, me and our children, we'll be happy forever." Edward glanced away when he felt his father's eyes on him. He distracted himself by looking into the book Carlisle gave him. He tried to feel guilty for prying into his father's private memories, but it was so hard to resist when he was thinking about his late wife. Edward found that he was obsessed with getting lost in the memories of his mother through the memories around him. Carlisle gave him a gentle pat on the shoulder and Edward turned his attention to his brother. The eldest Cullen dove into the recesses of his mind and brought out a simple memory of their mother sparkling in the sunlight on a Christmas day, having a snowball fight with him and Rosalie. "I'm going to get you!" Caroline laughed running after her son. Carlisle laughed and ran, leaping over the snow covered bench and dodging into the garden. "Carly wait up!" Rosalie squealed. Carlisle reached back for his sister but was too late. She was swept up into their mother's arms. She giggled and squirmed as Caroline showered her with kisses and tickled her tummy. "Mommy! Mommy stop!" Rosalie shrieked with laughter. Carlisle skidded to a stop and tried to reverse before his father swept him up with one arm. "Look here Caroline I seem to have caught a little prince!" "You know what we do with little princes," Caroline said with a grin. Carlisle laughed as his father tickled him and hugged him. They were released by their parents and left to their own devices. Carlisle remembered what they looked like on that winter's morning. His mother wore a long red velvet gown with a fur wrap around her shoulders. Little Esme ran up to her and gave her a wrap for her hands. "Go on inside dear, before you freeze." Esme nodded and obeyed. Caroline slipped her arm through her husband's and he kissed her cheek. They laughed as they watched their children build a snowman and make snow angels. "Edward if you're going to continue to stare off into space could you at least do it somewhere else?" Lord Cullen asked in his usual irritated tone. Edward mumbled something and focused on Rosalie opening her present from Emmett which consisted of a dripping diamond necklace and bracelet set. She hugged him tight and then she opened her present from her father which consisted of keys to a new car. Jasper received a book of military history from his adopted father and he instantly began reading. Carlisle excused himself to take Anna upstairs to dress her for Christmas brunch and he asked Esme to accompany him. Bella had a feeling there was something more behind it but she wasn't going to say anything. She looked back at Edward who stood and went to dress for brunch. Bella excused herself (thankful that she didn't have cleanup detail) and went upstairs. She found Edward not in his room like she expected but in the portrait gallery gazing at a painting of his mother. He didn't seem to even notice her. Bella reached up and touched his shoulder, he jumped and looked at her. He hated her silent mind sometimes.

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"What do you want?!" "You looked upset and...and..." Bella realized that she had absolutely nothing to say. "And?" Edward said sounding annoyed. "I don't know...I have no idea why I'm even trying actually." "You were trying to cheer me up?" "Well...you looked upset and normally I love it when your in any kind of pain but for some reason you just looked sad and I felt bad." Edward raised his eyebrows, "you fail at this whole cheering up thing." Bella shrugged and Edward looked back at the painting. "She was beautiful," Bella said. "Yeah, she was." "Can I ask...what happened to her?" Bella asked. Edward looked at her and then back at the scarlet eyes of his mother. In that particular portrait Caroline Cullen was sitting prim and proper. Her hands were folded neatly in her lap and she wore a powder blue off the shoulder gown. Her hair was pulled back onto the back of her head with a diamond jeweled clip and her hair was a reddish waterfall of curls. "She was proper and beautiful, in every memory she is smiling and laughing. My father was different then too," Edward murmured sadly, "he loved her so much. So so much." "What I said the other day..." "Forget it," Edward said. "Edward what are you doing here?" Lord Cullen asked in his usual severe tone "Looking at the portraits," Edward answered. Lord Cullen looked form his last son and then to Bella. Without another word he left. Edward could hear his father's thoughts. He sat down and put his chin on his knees. He closed his eyes and sighed heavily. Bella felt sorry for him for the first time in her life. She sat down beside him and put her hand on his arm. She realized that everything she believed was true about Edward and his father. He desperately wanted his father's love and attention. But for reasons she couldn't understand he refused to show his son affection of any kind. Bella wondered if it was just his personality but she couldn't be sure. Edward dropped his head further and ran his hands through his hair. "Caroline, darling please look at me," Carlisle pleaded touching his wife's face. His son sat near them and Rosalie was beside him.

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"Carlisle," Caroline sighed with a smile, "he's so strong. A good son for you." "I don't care about that right now, you are so pale." "I'm giving birth, I'm not going to look my best," she reminded him with a smile. Her smile was still as bright even though her face was more ghostly. Her skin was colder than usual. She winced as the contractions came again. "What's wrong?" "The contractions...they hurt so much..." she moaned. The doctor came in and read the machines and her chart. Caroline gripped her husband's hand. She let out a deep breath as he kissed her forehead. "Children, why don't you go get some sleep." It was a silent request for them to leave. They both came up and gave their mother a hug and a kiss and left. Caroline turned back to her husband. "You've always been so good to me," she whispered. "Of course I have," he murmured, brushing her forehead and hair with his palm. "Carol I love you so much." "Every moment of my life with you has been a dream, every..." she cut off with the pain hit again. She squeezed her eyes shut and groaned. She put her hand on her upper abdomen. "What is it?" "He's so strong. Just like Carlisle. You'll have a second son alright. Rosie was much more gentle. Oh god he wasn't out now!" "You aren't fully dilated," the doctor said. "I don't care! He wants out!" The doctor nodded and took a look. Carlisle turned his attention to his wife's face. "Carol..." he began uncertainly. "We have to get this baby out now," the doctor said looking at the nurse. Just then Caroline screamed in pain. "GET HIM OUT HE'S DYING! GET HIM OUT NOW!" She screamed. "Ma'am! Ma'am please you have to calm down! We're going to have to cut him out!" Carlisle squeezed her hand tight and put his hand on her forehead. She was as cold as ice under his hand. She was whiter than his own skin. "The placenta has detached, the baby is suffocating we're going to lose him!" Caroline coughed and blood came out of her mouth. She jerked her hands from her husband and began clawing at her stomach. The doctors came in with knives as sharp as vampire teeth and cut her open. Carlisle watched the scene in horror as blood spilled from his wife and his son was pulled from her. The boy screamed when his body touched the air.

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"Edward..." Caroline whispered. The doctors were sewing her up and one took the bloody baby boy to clean him. "He's alive Caroline," Carlisle said, his face alight with joy. He turned to her. "He's ali...Carol?" Her eyes were closed. He reached for her. Her skin was cold. The red on her lips that dribbled down her chin was so vivid against her papery skin. "C-Caroline? Caroline?!" "You have a healthy baby boy!" "CAROLINE!" Carlisle screamed. "Open your eyes! Please! Love please!" He gathered her into his arms and sobbed into her neck. "Carol please I love you! You can't leave me! Don't leave me alone please!" "Lord Cullen...she's gone," the doctor said holding his shoulders. He swung back at the doctor. He held his wife tight, crying into her. "He won't stop," Edward sobbed, "he keeps reminding me. I didn't mean to kill her!" Bella felt sufficiently awkward. He was crying into her chest seeming not to realize who he was crying to. "Who?" Bella asked. Edward seemed to realize who he was with. He pulled away and looked at Bella surprised and a little embarrassed. He jumped up and ran off. Bella watching him run, confused and a little startled. "I don't appreciate my slaves sitting around." Bella jumped up and saw Lord Cullen. She bowed her head and he looked at her with severe eyes. "You are the one asking about my wife." "I just asked him..." Lord Cullen's hand shot out and gripped her upper arm tight. He yanked her over and Bella looked up at him scared. "Why do you want to know about my wife?" he demanded. "I don't...I just...Master Edward looked upset and..." "My family business does not concern you," he growled. "Y-yes sir." "EDWARD!" he bellowed. With in a flash Edward was there. He looked at Bella curiously then at his father. "Yes, father?" "Come with me," Lord Cullen snapped. He gripped Bella's wrist tight and pulled her along. Edward followed with the same curiosity Bella had only without the fear. "I need to teach you how to handle your human. You

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let her have too much freedom." "I don't know what you mean." "I hear what she says," Lord Cullen said firmly, "you let her snap back at you and voice her opinions." "I don't have a problem with her voicing opinions! I don't listen to them anyway!" "Then you are a weak master. I will show you how to punish her properly!" Bella paled and Edward seemed to as well. He looked over at Bella. "No, father, it's alright. You don't have to put yourself out of the way like that." Lord Cullen gave Edward an angry glare. "You keep finding ways to disappoint me. I thought maybe, just maybe, you would be able to handle a human. A pitiful little creature like this. But you have failed me again. You are a constant disappointment!" Bella knew where they were going and she didn't like it. They were in the dungeon again. She was yanked along and Edward followed looking a little scared. Lord Cullen threw Bella into one of the smaller cells and she landed hard on the cold stone ground. "Lock her up," he ordered. Edward nodded and pulled Bella to her feet. As he fastened her hands he felt a strange sensation in his stomach. "W-what did she do?" Edward asked. "Disrespected our family's privacy." "She just asked me about mom," Edward said. His father's eyes flashed. Lord Cullen tore her clothes off and Bella felt the familiar humiliation and fear. His father handed him the whip and looked at Bella. "Now, do it." Bella whimpered as Edward whipped her once. Lord Cullen sighed. "I figured you would fail at this as well. Is there anything you can do right?" "Father I don't think that..." "This is how you whip a disobedient slave." The crack echoed loudly through the empty basement and Bella screamed. Edward winced at the sound and he saw the deep mark that was left behind. One more lash, one more scream. Edward saw the pain in Bella's eyes. The blood was streaming down her back. The cut had gone deep and it looked terrible and painful. This ranked high on his injustice meter. She hadn't done anything but ask him what happened to his mother. A perfectly innocent question. At least that's what Edward told himself when he felt pain for her. "Stop! You're hurting her!"

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"That's the point!" Another crack. Edward grabbed the whip from his father. "She didn't do anything wrong! There was no rule in the house against asking questions!" His father looked at him with dark angry eyes. "It is apparently my job to punish her wrong doings..." "Mom would have hated you for this!" Edward snapped, "what would she say if she saw you doing this?!" His father's eyes grew even colder and Edward realized the mistake he had made. Quick as a flash his father was holding him by the neck against the wall. "And how would you know what your mother would have hated? How can you even guess?" "I know her," Edward gasped, "I saw her in the memories and she was gentle and kind." "She was," Lord Cullen snarled, "she was a gift to the world. Then you came. She can't say anything now because you killed her! You murdered your mother!" Lord Cullen gripped his son's neck tight and threw him to the ground. "You will stay here until you learn manners," he spat. He slammed the door of the cell and Edward staggered to his feet with a cough. He walked over to Bella and let her down. She crumpled to the ground and he grabbed her ruined clothes. He pulled his sweater off and made to put it over her head. "I'll get blood all over it," Bella said. Edward put the sweater aside and pulled her into his lap. He slowly licked up the blood around the wounds. Bella hissed at the cold and the contact on her exposed cuts. Edward silently lapped up the blood, savoring the sweet flavor. He made sure to spend extra time on her cuts. He pulled back when he was done and he pulled the sweater over her head. "My saliva will keep you from bleeding, it kind of stops it." "I'm sorry," Bella said, "for asking and getting you into trouble." "You were right," he said, resting his chin on his knees, "my father has never loved me and that's all I wanted." "What happened?" "Mom was weak when she got pregnant with me. A virus or something I don't know for sure. The placenta detached and I was dying inside of her. I remember very little of it." "You can remember being born?" "Vampires have perfect recall, or at least I do. Carlisle does too but Emmett is hopeless. Anyway I remember struggling. My only clear memory of my mother is her saying my name as I was pulled out. I was suffocating inside of her and she tried to claw her stomach open to save me. She died of blood loss and she was too fragile to recover. They had to cut me out which to a vampire is dangerous. I don't know all of the details as to what happened. I just know what my father remembers. He'll torment me with the memory."

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"What do you mean?" Bella asked. "I can read minds," he said, smiling weakly as she paled. "I can't read yours and that is eternally frustrating." "That would explain why I'm still here," she said with a weak laugh. "I'm not nice to you in my head." "I can't imagine you are. Don't worry me neither." Bella shivered and Edward hugged her tighter. "I'm a little warmer than the wall. I have some blood in me." "I am sorry that you're stuck down here with me," Bella said, "I wish I knew how I could avoid bringing your father's wrath upon me." "He loved my mother dearly. She was his world." "Which is why he doesn't like you?" Edward nodded sadly. "In his opinion I was the monster that killed his wife." Edward didn't say much after that. He remembered being a little boy trying to hard to earn his father's love, a love that was so easily attained by his siblings and later Jasper. It was strange being so close to him and being so open to him. "It was hard when he accepted Jasper before me." "Is that why you were so upset earlier?" "They were remembering her," Edward said, "Christmas times gone by. I wish I could tell you what it's like." "I have an idea," Bella said, "I'm basically orphaned." "How did your parents die?" "Vampires," Bella mumbled, "my father was drained right before my eyes." "Your mother?" "I have no idea if she was alive or dead," Bella said, tears were beginning to leak from her eyes. "All we had was our family. Me, Alice and our parents. The night the vampires came...there were four of them. Vincent was their leader. He is a human hunter. Since my sister and I were virgins they preserved us. They made us watch as each of them raped our mother and all she could do was beg them to spare us." "That's why you were so afraid," Edward whispered, "when I brought you down here before." "I know I'm weaker than you," Bella said, "I know that you could easily overpower me." "That scares you?" "I only have two things in my life. My sister and my dignity, and even that is becoming smaller and smaller. I was never a prideful person. Esme assured us that you wouldn't do that to us. I hope she was right."

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"I have no need," Edward said with a shrug, "why have sex with a human when I have my girlfriend? Any vampire girl I want?" "Hm." "I am sorry I tormented you like that the other night," Edward said, "it was cruel of me. I had no idea that you had experienced something like that." "You're going to keep tormenting aren't you?" "It is great fun," Edward sighed. Bella rolled her eyes. She felt a different bond with her vampire master then there was before. She hated that Esme was right. The selfish spoiled brat had a soft side. He had stood up to his father for her and now he was keeping her warm. Edward sighed and dropped his head against the stone wall. "I'm hungry." "We ate right after we woke up." "Yucky human food." "Ick. Blood." "I'm sure I can get Esme to get me a bowl of O later," he sighed, "if he remembers to let me out." "Can't you break out?" "I actually like my bones un-broken too." "I'm so sorry I got you into this." "Are you really?" Edward asked with a knowing look. "Little bit," Bella said with a weak laugh. "I'm selfishly glad I have company actually. I'm not nearly as scared." Edward shifted a little so Bella would be a little more comfortable. She was sitting between his legs. She curled her legs up to keep warmer. It felt so much more comfortable than it should. "Do you ever think that we could be like Carlisle and Esme?" "What do you mean?" "Friends," Edward said, "I have fun with you. I like getting a rise out of you and surprisingly talking with you isn't torturous." "Friends," Bella said as if trying the word out. Where did that come from? Then again where did the kiss come from? One minute he's tormenting her and the next they were locked in an embrace, kissing each other as deeply as they could. She remembered the sensation. His tongue...his tongue did things that she didn't know about. He was powerful and commanding but it didn't hurt after the first contact. Sex with him would be an interesting experience. Her cheeks flamed at the idea. Edward chuckled.

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"Kitten is as red as a cherry!" "I do have a name," she reminded him. "You remind me of a little kitten," he said playing with her hair, "you're so jittery sometimes. You are like a little kitten who wants to be a lion. You look up with those little ferocious eyes of yours even though everybody you flash those eyes to is a hundred times stronger than you." "I see," Bella muttered. "Though it would be funny if you jumped around grabbing random pieces of lint," Edward teased, "or if I drag a string across the floor." Bella slapped his chest and winced. He laughed and she shook her hand as if shaking the pain out. Edward pressed his palm against hers to dull the pain. "Why did you kiss me?" she asked. "I dunno. It just seemed like a good idea at the time. Why did you kiss me back?" "I dunno. It just seemed like a good idea at the time." Edward laughed. "Damn I hope he hurries. You're getting colder." "Why do you care?" Bella asked. It wasn't an accusing tone, more curious and a little sad. Edward looked at her. He was distracted by her eyes for a moment. As close as they were he could see little pale specks in her eyes, like flecks of silver. "I don't know," he answered honestly. "I have no idea why I care so much." Bella looked away from him and down at her knees. "God...I hate you so much..." "I get that." "But I don't know if I hate you...or what you are." Edward rested his chin on her head. Her hair smelled good. Cheap shampoo and soap with her own floral scent. She smelled good in a comforting way. Her hair was coarse and soft at the same time. She had gotten her hair cut recently. The usual trim that all the servants were to get. He and Carlisle were the only ones that let their humans have long hair. Carlisle didn't like it when Esme's hair had been cropped and Edward thought Bella looked nice with her hair. Jasper seemed to like Alice with her short hair but he did order it to be evened out. "How long do you think we'll be down here?" Bella asked. "I can't say," Edward said, "probably until tomorrow at the latest. Tuck your feet under you for a while, they'll stay warmer." Bella obeyed and Edward shifted for her. He wanted to kiss her again. That was hardly a good sign. She was so close to him. Was it cheating if it was with a human? She was cold. The dungeon wasn't obviously heated

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and what little heat there was had escaped upwards. The whole purpose of the place died centuries ago during the war times when it was used to hold prisoners. It was meant to be uncomfortable and drafty. Her lips were darkening. She looked so vulnerable. Edward knew of a good way to warm her up. A very good way. She would wear his sweater and they would do it from behind to save the pain on her back. Or maybe he'd lay on his back and she'd be on top. She'd work up a good sweat while he pounded into her hot body. He shook his head. He had to stop thinking those kinds of thoughts before he was given another problem. But she was cold. He took off his shirt and put it around her feet. "Thank you," she mumbled. "You're being so kind." "I don't want you freezing to death because of me," Edward said, "I'm not a complete monster." "You could have fooled me," Bella sighed, "this is the secondish time you've been really nice to me since I came here." "Ish?" "Well you ruined the first time by making rape jokes." Edward sighed and rested his head against the concrete wall. "I have fun getting a rise out of you. My father trained me to be more on the vicious side. When I went to get you I was expecting something else. I was expecting a human that was...tame." "I'm not an animal." "In all truth that is how we vampires view humans, you know that." "So you tried to drown me." "You were misbehaving," Edward said with a shrug, "that's how I was raised. I watched my father beat humans for less. Obviously." "So why did you stand up to him?" Bella asked. Why did she always manage to leave him speechless?! "Your fingers are so cold," Edward observed. He grinned, his wicked playful crooked grin. "I can think of a way to warm you up." "How?" Bella asked, genuinely curious. Edward nuzzled her neck and smiled. "Oh no! No no no I would rather freeze!" To make her point she tried to scramble out of his arms but Edward laughed instead. "Oh no kitten you aren't leaving. I was just teasing you." "What did I tell you about that!" "It isn't rape if you say yes," he purred.

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"Out of the question!" Bella cried. "I will never say yes to you so you shouldn't bother asking again. Besides you have a girlfriend." Edward laughed and Bella sighed. She gave up on trying to get away from him and rested her head on his shoulder. She could only hope that they would be released soon. She was feeling really tired. Edward was lost in thought when Bella finally fell asleep. Her breathing changed and softened. He smiled at her. There was a wave of emotions that he didn't understand. He was enjoying the feel of her warmth and her small frame. He hated that she was human. He absolutely hated that she was human. If she was a vampire he would dump Tanya in a moment. Where did that come from?! Edward mentally demanded of himself. He shook his head. Tanya was sexy, smart, easy to talk to (most times) and great in bed. What was Bella? She was small, irritating, weak and the sex probably wouldn't be too great. She would crumble under the force that he and Tanya usually had going. She'd probably bleed a lot and he'd be distracted. Yep. He was definitely better off with Tanya. Though she is an interesting creature...and that kiss... Edward squeezed his eyes shut and barged into the minds of the house to take his thoughts off of Bella. --"Yeah...oh god Edward...yes," Tanya moaned. Edward held her hips as she moved. She gripped the golden iron bars of his bed and threw her head back to look at him. He smiled at the pleasure on her face. She dropped her head again and he went back to his expression. God Edward you are the best sex ever! "Thanks babe," he purred. Kick it Eddie! Woo! Edward snorted a laugh and Tanya looked back at him. "What is it baby?" she asked. "Emmett, he can hear us." "Mmm let's give him something to hear," Tanya moaned. That was Edward's cue to speed up. While he did he mused on how he hated doggy style on the bed. He grabbed her and moved so he was kneeling on the floor and she was bent over his bed. "Oh god Eddie you are the best!" Edward looked down. Her hair was bobbing and she looked like she was having a good time. He closed his eyes. He snapped them open again when he saw Bella's face. Her lips pouting and her face flushed from sex. Oh her sweet naked body. He didn't have to imagine anymore. He dropped his head back and thrust harder and faster as he saw her naked in his mind. Flushed skin with perfect breasts that fit perfectly in his hand. He bit his lip and groaned. "Oh B...baby," he moaned, catching himself.

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"Edward...oh Edward yes...harder Edward!" Edward! Please...so close... Bella's voice in his mind pleaded with him. He would give her what she wanted. She would be so hot and tight. He would be the first one and the only one. He came just before Tanya. He snapped back to reality before he could imagine that it was Bella's sex that was squeezing him. "Mmm baby let's go again," Tanya moaned. "I can never get enough of you!" "Well I am fabulous," he laughed. Tanya threw her arms around him and kissed his lips. "C'mon Eddie...I want to try something new." "Uh sure, what did you have in mind?" "I think I know something that will turn you on," she purred, "you like being the master." "Um, okay?" "Dominate me Edward," she murmured, "lock me up and take me." "Lock you up where?" Edward asked, tilting his chin as Tanya sucked on his neck. "I'm afraid I can't think of a place where I would be able to." "Mmm most old mansions have dungeons," Tanya purred. Edward raised his eyebrows, "yes, but that's where we punish our humans. It's hardly erotic." "Mmm you could punish me, mmm Master Edward," she whispered in his ear before sucking on his earlobe. "So you want me to tie you up and then...punish you? Whatever do you mean?" "Mmm whip me, spank me, do whatever." Edward scratched the back of his head, a nervous habit of his. "Is that really what you want?" "We can do it in my home," Tanya said, "my family has left for relatives for the holiday. If you're afraid that your family will overhear." Bow chika wow wow Edward closed his eyes. Emmett was certainly a problem. "If that'll make you happy, then sure," Edward agreed. He kissed her forehead and they dressed to leave. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers!

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Graphic content in the beginning of the chapter. Chapter 8, Edward had forgotten that most old mansions had dungeons. That was kind of creepy. He had never given it much thought before. Tanya took his hand and they walked downstairs. In the dungeon Tanya brought him into the largest room. There was a table with various instruments and chains from the ceiling. "It's like role playing. Remember how much fun we had when we did that?" "Yeah," he said. They had played detention and they also played lonely housewife. Those had been pretty fun. Edward enjoyed faking an accent though the tight shorts were weird. "What are you going to be?" "Well," Tanya said wrapping her arms around his neck. Her mouth began to trace along his jaw and throat. "I can be the spy and you caught me and your trying to get me to talk. Oh or I can be the little slave. Oh master I disobeyed you and you have to punish me." "You want to be a disobedient slave?" "Ooh yes, how erotic." Erotic? Edward wondered why that would be erotic. It certainly didn't look erotic when his father was whipping the skin off of Bella, or even when he was giving her a less severe one. Actually it looked like it hurt quite a bit. But Tanya did have harder skin. "So what exactly do I have to do?" Edward asked. "I'll change into something more the part and you will treat me like I am a disobedient slave," Tanya said, briefly wondering why he didn't seem to understand. She left to change her clothes and Edward wondered if he had to get into a costume. Tanya had one for him. Tight pants again. She really must have had a thing for them. He looked at the black pants and sighed. They were quite uncomfortable when he got an erection. But he wore them and noticed that his shirt was gauzy and much too loose for him. Girls were a strange species. When he came back Tanya was ready. She wore a simple garment that was similar to what Bella or Esme would wear. "Master," she said bowing her head. Following her mental image he fastened her arms above her head. She seemed to enjoy that. She dropped her head back. He enjoyed the way her hair tumbled down her shoulders and back. It wasn't rumpled like Bella's was. Too much product. There were too many smells. Following what she seemed to like he roughly undressed her and tried to slip into the part of the dominating master. He spoke to her harshly and kissed her roughly. He tried to slap her but that didn't work. Whip me Edward! Edward saw a whip on the table along with a paddle and iron rod and other things. He whipped her once and she cried out but it was a pleasured sound.

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Harder! Edward whipped her again. His memory flashed Bella's face. The look of pain in her eyes as the leather sliced through her skin as if it was butter. He put the whip down. Maybe paddling wouldn't be so bad. Tanya didn't seem to mind that. He spanked her hard with the wooden paddle and she screamed in delight. The whole thing was weird to him. How was this pleasurable? Bella looked to be in so much pain and distress when she was beaten. He saw her bloody back and tear stained cheeks in his mind. He shook his head and put the whip down. He would just get off by oral sex or something. He pulled the tight pants off and took a moment to rub himself a bit to get into the mood. Once he was stiff he went back to her. "Oh Master...please...don't..." "But you said you wanted me to!" Edward cried. "Oh for the love of all that's holy Edward it's called acting!" "Oh right...sorry..." He grabbed her hips and thrust upwards into her. She cried out in pleasure. "Oh...Master...sir..." "You like this?" It was an honest question but Tanya dismissed it as sex talk. "Oh no Master! Please no!" I'm acting again Edward Edward scowled at her mental tone. She didn't happen to see it. They made us watch while they raped my mother...it's the scariest thing in the world to me Edward shook Bella's voice from his head. He saw the pain in her eyes again and her soft voice kept telling him how horrible it was and how afraid she was of him being the violent vampire that she had seen before. "I can't do this," Edward declared pulling out and pushing away. "Tanya this is just weird and messed up." "Oh come on Edward what is so bad about it?" she asked pulling her hands from the ropes. "It's just weird okay! I don't know why you seem to get off on me hitting you but it's weird! I mean I can't imagine one human that enjoys being whipped!" "Why would they?" "Why do you?!" "Geez Edward you sure know how to blow a mood."

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"What?! I don't want to beat my girlfriend so sue me!" "It isn't beating your girlfriend," Tanya sighed, pulling her shirt on, "it's just bondage. It's a playful thing." "Playful?!" "What is up with you anyway Edward? I thought you'd be into that dominating stuff." Edward pulled his shirt over his head and gave her a look. "Do I really seem like that kind of person?" "No. But it's sexy!" "My father just whipped the shit out of one of our humans and I can tell you she did not find it erotic or sexy!" Tanya folded her arms. "So you were thinking about another woman?" "I was thinking about how when I heard the whip crack the look of pain in her eyes. Look it was an involuntary thing and it freaked the crap out of me! I'm not going to abuse you Tanya!" "First off it isn't abuse if I like it and second grow a pair Edward!" Tanya angrily stormed off and Edward rolled his eyes. Girls were so strange. --Bella was making his bed and gathering his laundry when he came back. She looked up at they shared a strange silence. After getting so personal lately they both felt a bit awkward. "Did you have a good night?" Bella asked making small talk as she tucked in his sheets. "A weird one," Edward sighed, Bella bent to pick up some of the jeans he had tossed on the floor and winced. "Are you okay?" "Back hurts," she mumbled. "Did Carlisle take a look at it?" Edward asked. "No, I didn't ask. He's busy with his daughter after all and I'm fine. It'll be better in a few days anyway." "Are you sure? Can I take a look at it at least?" "Do you feel you have to?" Bella asked. She felt weak again. He looked at her with intense eyes under waves of bronze. He held out his hand and she came to him. He sat her on his bed and pulled her dress up carefully. The lashes on her back were deep. Much deeper than the ones he had given him which had faded. These ones looked painful. They were scabbed over in some places but they still looked painful. "Did you put anything on them." "Esme gave me some ointment," Bella lied. "I should probably go. If your girlfriend walked in I'm sure she'd think something else."

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"She won't," Edward said. "We had a big fight." Bella hissed softly as he touched her back. Her skin was very warm. Warmer than a humans normally was. "Make sure you put more ointment on before you go to sleep," Edward said. Bella nodded. "Do you need anything?" "I'm going to go get a bottle of blood," Edward said, "I'll walk you down." "You're being a little too nice for comfort," Bella said with a little half smile as she fixed her dress. Edward laughed. "Don't worry kitten, I'll tease you're skinny butt tomorrow." "I don't have a skinny butt." "Yeah sure, and I've never been laid." "Well clearly you have as I have to clean up the evidence every day!" Edward threw his head back and laughed. They reached the bottom of the stairs and turned to go down the servants quarters when they stopped suddenly. "Goodnight, Carlisle," Esme said softly. "Sweet dreams my love," Carlisle whispered, kissing her tenderly on the lips. He froze and whirled around. "Edward." Edward winced and walked into the hall. Esme flushed and went into the room and Carlisle walked up to Edward and Bella. His attention was specifically on Edward. "Tell anyone and I will kick your butt from here to hell." "Who am I going to tell?!" Edward cried. "And it's not like you were going to keep it from me for long." "Go to bed," Carlisle sighed. Edward nodded. He left with his brother and Bella went into the servants quarters. She looked at Esme and they both shared a giggle before getting ready for bed. --Edward tapped his pen on his book and sighed. He hated winter homework. He especially hated winter calculus homework. He was getting irritated and thirsty. He had asked Bella to bring him a bottle of blood and she was sure taking her sweet time about it. He was sure it was just to annoy him. The door opened and he turned around fully irritated. "It's about time you...kitten?" "Here," Bella mumbled pushing the bottle into his hands. He put it on his desk and took her hand.

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"You're pale." "I have a lot to get done and not a lot of time to get it done now please let me go!" Bella jerked her arm, turned and took two steps before collapsing. "Holy! Hey! Come on now!" Edward knelt beside her and lifted her into his lap. "Kitten wake up." "I fell..." "Yeah you did. You're burning up. Are you sick?" "I feel so weak." "I have that effect on people." Bella weakly rolled her eyes. Edward gave one dry laugh. He made to pick her up and she whimpered. He carried her to his bed and put her on her stomach. He pulled her dress up (ignoring her weak complaint). He groaned when he saw her back. The cuts from the lashing she received just a week ago were for the most part completely infected. Her back was a swollen mess of three long cuts with yellowed scabs. He put his hand against her back and felt like he was touching a flame. "I told you to treat these!" "I forgot," she mumbled, "I'm sorry...I'll just..." "You aren't doing anything but laying here and getting better. I don't care what you say otherwise. All three of your wounds are infected. Carlisle is at work right now but when he gets home I want him to take a look at this. I don't know anything about human infections. You're shivering?" "You pulled my dress up." "You have the chills. Your skin feels like fire. Wait here." Edward stood up and went to his dresser. "I have so much I need to do." "Let the others handle it," Edward said, "for at least a couple days you'll be back on your feet and back to normal. Until then wear these." Edward peeled Bella's clothes off despite her objections and forced her into the sweatpants and sweater. He pulled back his blankets and tucked her in them. "Why are you taking care of me?" "Probably for the same reason I'm nice to you," he said with a shrug, "or for the same reason I kissed you. But until I find out what that reason is who knows. I figured I should at least be nice if we're going to try to be friends. I like how Carlisle and Esme are. Well without the you know..." "I haven't been sick in a while," Bella sighed as Edward pulled a spare quilt from the closet. "Alice and I would get colds in the winter when we were weaker. Mom would take care of us. She knew how to make these herbal medicines from things she gathered in the summer," she sighed heavily, "I miss her."

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"Hey, at least you knew your mom," he said trying to be friendly. "Sometimes I think that makes it harder. It hurts so much sometimes. Just remembering her face...both of them...god I can't believe I'm always getting so worked up anymore about it. It's been months...I never let it all sink in." "You've been having nightmares," Edward said, "I can hear you at night." "I see them. Vincent and the others. He's always on top of me with blood dripping from his teeth and mouth. He hurts me. Alice is dead beside me and my parents are dead too. He tells me that he'll kill me." "Nobody is going to kill you as long as you are mine," Edward said, "I'm very protective of my property." "I'm not property," Bella said weakly. "We seem to have differing opinions in the definition of the word." "I'm too tired to fight you today," she sighed. "So I win, yay for me!" Bella closed her eyes and sighed. "Warmer?" "Yes, thank you. I'll probably do the blanket dance soon." "Sounds sexy." "Something Alice and I do when we're sick. We go from chills to sweats and back again. Freezing cold to boiling hot." "Humans are weird," Edward sighed. "You don't sound good. Your voice is almost gone. Would you like to read something?" "No, I can't read." "Really?!" Edward sounded genuinely amazed. Bella nodded. "Wow." "I grew up in a hole in the ground," she reminded him, "I was raised by two humans who grew up in slavery. All of our bedtime stories were spoken." "Sorry, it just seems so obvious to me that you'd know. Well get some sleep." Bella nodded and soon she was fast asleep. Edward stroked her hair softly and watched her. She slept a lot. He sometimes seemed to forget just how fragile humans were. She was so sick, he could feel it. Whether she was going to vomit and then need to be taken to a hospital he didn't know but he certainly hoped not. Carlisle would know what to do. He would be able to help. "Edward..." Bella murmured.

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Edward looked down at her and saw that she was still asleep. He smiled bright when he heard his own name on her lips. "Nobody can help you now," Vincent purred in her ear. Bella struggled against his grip. He tore her clothes and clawed her skin in the process. "Mmm your blood is delicious." "STOP! NO PLEASE DON'T!" "I killed your family and everyone you have cared about." "NO!" Bella thrashed but it was no use, he was too strong. Vincent grabbed her knees and wrenched her legs apart. "Now pet you'll feel the full extent of a man's touch." "EDWARD! PLEASE HELP ME!" Vincent continued to violently thrust into her. Bella cried out as she felt her pelvis break. Edward was in the distance running to her. "Bella wake up!" "Please...please no..." "She's having hallucinations it seems," Carlisle said, "but she does have a high fever." "Bella wake up!" Bella jerked awake and looked at the two vampires. "Please! No!" "It's alright nobody is going to hurt you." "He doesn't stop." "He will," Edward promised. He pulled the blankets up and tucked them around her shoulders. "Get some sleep kitten." "Bella, do you know who I am?" Carlisle asked gently. "Carlisle," Bella whispered. He nodded. "Esme?" "Bella you should have told me that you were hurt I could have helped you." "I'm sorry," Bella mumbled. "Bella I need to take a look at your back now," Carlisle said. He carefully turned her around and slowly raised her dress to avoid hurting her. "My bag please Esme." Bella felt his icy fingertips on her back. They felt good on her hot skin. Carlisle opened his bag and took out a small jar.

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"How far has the infection spread?" Esme asked gently. "Not too far," Carlisle answered in his professional tone, "I can only guess where it came from but I'm willing to put my money on the whip he used. I can't imagine father has them cleaned." "How deep were they? Oh Bella I'm sorry I didn't notice." "An inch if she's lucky. I don't feel any muscle damage but I wouldn't put it past him. Father prides himself in being able to whip down to the bone. Imagine what he would have done if he was truly furious." "It gets worse?" Bella moaned. "Father is sensitive about the subject of our mother," Carlisle said, "but there are things that could make him far angrier. He has killed in his rage before." "What happened?" Bella asked. "Well," Carlisle said, "it was years ago, do you remember Esme?" "Unfortunately. The only time Lady Cullen was enraged with him." "Now where was I? Oh yes, it was a human boy, about your age, by the name of Ryan," Carlisle said thinking back to his childhood while he began working on Bella's back. "You see Rosalie was a baby at the time. He was carrying her down the stairs and something happened, I don't know if he tripped or she was just squirming and he lost his grip, but either way she fell down the stairs." "How did she survive?!" Bella asked in the most worried tone she could master. "Vampires aren't as fragile as humans. But father was angry, he took the boy down into a cell and gave him three lashes. They were so deep they went down to his bones." "He died?" "Yes, father left him down there and he died from blood loss and from the cold." "Lady Cullen was furious when she found out, not only because her daughter was involved, but because the boy was killed." Bella thought about that. Killed for dropping the master's baby. She thought it seemed extreme, it wasn't like the child was hurt at all. Actually she was pretty sure Rosalie got up and walked off. But Lord Cullen was that way it seemed. "So you must be the ones encouraging her curiosity." Everyone in the room looked over to see Lord Cullen standing in the doorway looking as surly as ever. "Father," Edward said standing. "Edward you are in the way," Lord Cullen said, "Carlisle step away from her." "She has a terrible infection from the lashes you gave her and I am not finished treating her," Carlisle said

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calmly, not looking at his father. He put a bandage over Bella's injuries. "She's grown a horrible fever." "I don't care," Lord Cullen said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "she will return to work this moment." "What she needs is rest," Carlisle said, pulling off the gloves. "We're going to take her downstairs now and put her to bed." "See that you do and she will be up and moving tomorrow morning." Lord Cullen left, slamming the door behind him. Carlisle looked sadly at Bella. "I'm sorry he's chosen you to torment." "Like father like son I guess," Bella sighed. Edward stuck his tongue out at her. Carlisle chuckled and helped her stand. "I'll take her," Edward said. "In the mood he's in he'll probably push you both down the stairs," Carlisle sighed. "No, it's best I do." Edward nodded and Carlisle pulled Bella onto his back. He carried her out and she rested her head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry to be so much trouble," Bella sighed. "No you're no trouble at all," Carlisle said, "father gets moody during the holidays. He misses mom. We all do." "I wish I knew how to avoid making him so angry." "He doesn't like Edward so I suppose it has to do with that. That's just bad luck on your part. But Edward likes you. I hope you two can become friends." "It would make things a little easier," Bella agreed weakly. "Thank you for helping me get better." "My pleasure Bella. I became a doctor because I love helping people." "But you know human medicine too." "A hobby," Carlisle said. He carried her down the hall into the servants quarters and laid Bella down carefully. "Are you going to be okay?" "I think so," Bella said, "Alice will be in soon anyway." Carlisle nodded and ruffled her hair. "Now, you'll feel some pain. The stuff I put on your cuts will kill off the infection no problem but it burns. A nasty side effect. I'll be keeping an eye on you. If your fever doesn't go down in a couple days then I'll have to take you into the clinic." "I'm sure it will," Bella sighed. She yawned and Carlisle smiled. "Thank you." "No problem. Sleep well."

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Bella nodded and Carlisle left. She pulled the blankets over her shoulders and went to sleep. --"How is she?" Alice asked when she passed Carlisle in the hall. "She got sick from an infection in her cuts but she'll get better. I'm afraid she'll be in a little pain tonight but a good night's rest will do her well." "I'm worried about her," Alice admitted. "We haven't been able to speak much lately." "I'm sorry to hear that," Carlisle said, sincerity ringing in every word. "I'm sorry to run off but I have to, Anna will want her story read." "I'm sorry to keep you," Alice said, "thank you for taking care of her." Carlisle nodded and patted her head before leaving. Alice continued down the hall and into Jasper's room where she was to deliver his laundry. "Are you needing anything?" "No, thank you Alice," Jasper said, "some company would be nice though." "I suppose I can spare a minute or two," Alice said with a smile. "I want to check on Bella in a bit." "Carlisle says she's sleeping." "She's really sick right now," Alice sighed, "I wish I could remember mom's herbal medicines." Alice's face darkened at the mention of her mother. Jasper held his arms out and she came to him. He pulled her into his lap and held her loosely. Alice smiled and held out her arm. "Not right now," Jasper said, "something else." "What?" Alice asked. She looked out of his window and smiled. Jasper let her out of his lap and she went to the window. He smiled at her and held back a chuckle. "I heard that," Alice said. Jasper walked up to her. "What is so interesting?" "The colors of the sun on the snow. Such a beautiful sunset." "Tis the season," he whispered. "Walk with me." "Where?" Jasper gathered her up and zipped out of the room. He handed her a coat and she put it on. He fastened gloves on her hands and they were out the door. "I love being outside," Alice sighed taking a deep breath.

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"I know," Jasper replied softly. They walked into the woods near the mansion, following a brick path. "Mom loved walking, or so I was told. She and father would take nightly strolls." "I think my parents did too," Alice sighed, "it wasn't ever safe for them to go out. But sometimes, during the night, we would go outside. Sometimes mom and dad would go out by themselves, usually to hunt, but on very rare occasions to get precious privacy." "So they would go off to have sex?" "Hm? Oh, no. They would go out because it was an indulgence. A chance to be truly alone. I asked mom once what happened and she said they would reflect. I saw them once, they thought I was asleep, but I crept out to see them, anyway they were..." "That sounds like a sex trail off." "They would have sex in their bed," Alice said, "Bella and I would be playing. It was how they expressed their love. They did it so rarely, to avoid getting pregnant. Once they went outside to...get rid of something." "They got pregnant?" Jasper guessed. Alice nodded. "They both knew that they couldn't take care of another child," she said sadly, "they had Bella. They took me in out of the kindness in their hearts. They didn't have to. After all I was another mouth to feed and another body to warm." "That is horrible though." "What would be more horrible?" Alice asked, "killing the baby before birth or letting it live only to possibly die of starvation or cold later?" "The first year or so your mother would have been able to breast feed." "Food was scarce as it was," Alice reminded him, "most nights mom and dad didn't eat because they took care of us. They would refuse to let us share with them. I can't really explain what it was like." "I honestly can't understand," Jasper said, "I can understand what you're telling me, but not how it felt. How did you survive?" "You just do," Alice said with a shrug. "The humans that are free know just how lucky they are. You'd think that we'd be the lucky ones. Well, by comparison Bella and I are, but enslaved humans. I can't tell you how much you miss your freedom until it's gone." Jasper was silent. He heard the crunch of snow beneath their feet and the sound of her heart. He could feel the heat radiating from her body. He could also smell the tears that were going to fall. "I don't understand how I feel," Alice said, "I love it here. But I don't know if it's because I know that as far as vampires go, Bella and I were sold to good ones, or if it's the attachments I've made since being here. Knowing Esme...she's like a mother to us. She takes care of us. Master Carlisle is so sweet and he helped my sister without having to. Even Master Edward has his good points, like how he stood up to his father for Bella. Then there's you."

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"There's me," Jasper whispered. "What about me?" Alice stopped and turned. There were tears now on her rosy red cheeks. She looked up at him. It was starting to snow. White flakes were falling and resting on the tips of her hair. Her eyes were locked on his, keeping his gaze, or maybe it was him that was keeping hers. He knew what he wanted her to say. Tell me that you love me He couldn't tell her. He had so much trouble expressing how he felt. Years of his father's teachings kept him ice cold. Then she came. Alice came into his life and warmed him up. It was the little things, the way she smiled or the way she offered her blood to him. He didn't know why he appreciated the later. Her voice was soothing and calm and he found that on the nights he slept he didn't have the usual restless dreams thanks to her voice. "What about me, Alice?" He asked in the same whisper. Bella was going to hate her. Alice looked up at Jasper. His burgundy eyes were so deep and filled with a million different emotions. She knew he had a heart of ice, opened only for his family. The military life was his dream and he would take over his father's place when the time came, the unofficial heir to the Cullen family. He was so handsome and so out of her league. How could she even hope that he would even want to have anything to do with her? How could she love a vampire? How could she love something that destroyed her family? "You're...great." She turned to keep walking but he held her arm. She looked back at him, still silently crying. In that moment there were a million sparks and a million unspoken feelings. Confusion, longing, pain and a need to belong to someone. Jasper saw his life in his head, the loneliness when he was a child, the pain when his parents died and the joy when he was adopted and finally had brothers and a sister to play with but with a sense of being distant, cut off from the others. The same kind of loneliness that Alice felt. Knowing that he only had a secure life because of the kindness of someone else, that the people who loved him first were gone forever. But she lost the people who cared enough to take her in. He couldn't imagine what it was like for them. How did Charlie and Renee come to find the little girl and how could two humans, creatures that Jasper had believed to be wild and uncivilized when free, take in another child when they knew that it was hard enough. He pulled her arm and she came to him. "Alice," he whispered, "what about me?" "I'm in over my head," she whispered, "Jasper...I think I have feelings for you that I shouldn't." "Kiss me," he ordered in a gentle murmur. Alice reached up on her toes and brushed her lips against his and then pulled away quickly. "I can't." "Why?" "I...I'm scared."

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"Don't be," Jasper murmured, "I have loved nobody before you. You are the part of me that I have missed. I was supposed to find you. Don't you see? You survived sixteen years undetected and then you are found and brought in days before Edward was to go get Bella. You just had to be the sister of the only mental mute. From the moment I saw you there was something about you. I know you felt it too. It was more than fear that kept you so calm. I calmed you and not by using my abilities. You know I'm right." Jasper moved closer to her. He cupped her face gently with his hands. "Say it, out loud." "I love you," Alice whispered, "I don't know why...but I love you." Jasper smiled and folded his arms around her. "Because this is the first time we have ever believed in fate." TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 9, Bella jerked awake from yet another nightmare. As usual Alice and Esme woke with her. Alice because they slept with their cots pushed together and Esme because Bella was sure that she had some sort of internal sensor. "What is it?" Alice asked. Bella looked at her sister and instantly sought shelter in her arms. Alice was willing to hold her sister while she cried. "I keep seeing his face," Bella sobbed, "I keep seeing the hunter's face." "It's okay Bells, I'm here," Alice murmured stroking her hair. "It's going to be okay." "I miss mama," Bella sobbed, "I miss her so much!" "I know you do, I miss her too," Alice said in the same gentle tone. "Come on Bells, let's lay back down okay." Bella nodded and they laid back down. They laid on their sides and Bella gripped Alice's hand. Esme was in mother hen mode and eased the anxiety she felt from one of her chicks in danger by pulling the blanket up around her shoulders and tucking both girls in. "Thank you Esme," Alice said quietly. Bella reached her hand out and Esme took it and gave Bella a hug. She kissed them both on the forehead and sat on her cot fully ready to stay up for whatever either of them needed. "What happened in the dream?" "The same thing that always happens," Bella mumbled, rubbing her eyes, "he's there and he keeps raping me over and over again. He's killed you and our parents and Esme and everyone I have ever cared about." "He's not going to hurt you," Alice assured her, "Master Edward won't let him. Even if he for some reason

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does, Master Carlisle won't, nor will Master Jasper." "I wish these would go away," Bella cried just above a whisper, "I wish everything would just stop and go back to how they were!" Alice disagreed somewhat but she didn't say anything. She kissed her sister's forehead and petted her hair again. She had a lot to think about after all. She missed her parents terribly and she missed being free, but they had a warm bed and food to eat with a shower every other day to avoid smelling. Best of all their vampire owners weren't rapists or abusive (well most of them weren't). And she had Jasper. Alice felt her heart skip a beat at the thought of her master. He was so tender with her and so loving. Bella was finally asleep again. Esme bid them both goodnight in a whisper and went back to sleep. Alice stayed awake. She wondered what Jasper was up to. He was probably reading, waiting for her to wake in the morning. Bella would be so angry if she found out about her sister's new relationship with her vampire. --Bella brought Edward a cup of blood to find that he was asleep at his desk. She had never seen him sleep before but he was now. She didn't know if she should leave or wake him. She put the glass of blood down on his desk and it didn't wake him. Up close he was even more beautiful in sleep. His flawless face was completely relaxed and she could see the pale lavender of his eyelids, edging bronze lashes. His hair was messy and in his face. He must have decided not to bother with combing it. Bella noticed that unless there was hair gel at hand taming his hair was sometimes very difficult. She went to his bed and pulled the decorative afghan from the foot of the bed and opened it. She tucked the blanket around his shoulders. That got his attention. Before she could even breathe, his hand was locked around hers and she was against the bed with his free hand on her throat. "What are you doing?! You scared the crap out of me!" "You were asleep." "Yes, I'm aware." Edward glanced down and saw the blanket laying on the floor. He bent down and picked it up. "I don't get cold," he said. "Well how was I supposed to know that! Sweet lord I wash enough of your blankets. Here's your blood." She pushed the glass into his hands and left. Edward looked at the blanket in his hand and sighed. She was just looking out for him. Edward sighed and put the blanket back on his bed. He smoothed it out and then laid on it. He could still smell her on it. Sweet and very unlike any vampire in the world. He pushed up and walked down the hall to Carlisle's bedroom. "Dude I need to talk to you...oh god really?!" Carlisle looked up from where he was pleasuring Esme and he looked slightly annoyed. "Don't you knock?" Carlisle asked. "I have a problem."

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"A knocking problem!" "Sorry Esme," Edward said trying not to look. She pulled away and Carlisle wrapped the blankets around her. "Aright Ed, what's up," Carlisle sighed. Edward was thankful that he was wearing pants. "I think I'm in trouble," Edward said kneeling beside the bed so that Carlisle could hear as low as his voice could go. "What?" "I can't stop thinking about Bella. I can't get her voice out of my head even though I can't hear her in my head." "That isn't a problem," Carlisle groaned, "you're just in love with her." "No, I'm in love with Tanya." "Okay Eddie I'll spell this out for you," Carlisle said rolling onto his stomach. "Tanya is a slut and you aren't going to break up with her ever because you are a wimp." "Tanya isn't a slut and I don't appreciate you saying so! How would you like it if I said that Esme was a slut?!" "Tanya is a slut but you don't want to break up with her." "Because I love her." "Because you have a bit of a mommy complex and you need a female in your life to take care of you." "I resent that!' "Resent away," Carlisle sighed, "now kindly get the hell out!" "Right. Sorry Esme." "Bye Edward." With a sigh Edward disappeared. --"Hey kitten." "AHHH!" Edward looked down as Bella slipped on the tile floor after he scared her. He was hanging upside down from the rafters. He laughed and dropped down, landing on his feet. "What the hell?!" "Aw kitten fell on her little bottom."

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"You are such an insufferable prick!" Edward laughed and pulled her to her feet. "Where are you going anyway?" "What were you doing up there?" "Thinking," Edward sighed, "then I saw you and I thought I'd drop in and say hey." "Well you know I have to have my daily dose of heart attack," Bella grumbled, "anyway I'm off to the market." "Alone?" "Yes," Bella said, "it's not that big of a deal." "I'll get someone to go with you," Edward said. Bella just looked at him. She wanted to ask if he'd go with her but that would have been out of line. In the end Edward made Jessica go with her. --Esme went into Carlisle's room with his blood. She looked automatically to the desk where he worked and was surprised when she didn't see him there. Instead he was laying on his bed with his eyes closed. Her eyes widened. "Carlisle!" "Hm?" He grunted. "Oh god," Esme breathed, putting a hand to her chest to calm her racing heart. She put the blood down on a small table and ran to his bed. She fell onto him and he wrapped his arms around her. "What's wrong love?" he asked. "I thought you were sleeping!" Carlisle kissed her forehead. "Just resting my eyes," he assured her. "I was so afraid...you are still too young." "Aw you were afraid for me?" Carlisle asked. "You're so cute." "Shut up! You're my best friend and, oh yeah, I love you." "I love you too," Carlisle murmured. "More than you'll know." Esme smiled and kissed his neck. "You're tense," she murmured. "I have a lot on my mind," Carlisle sighed. "But you make me feel better."

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"I can really make you feel better," Esme purred, sitting up on him. Carlisle put his hands on her calves and smiled. "Maybe the doctor could use a refresher course in human anatomy?" Carlisle grinned. "Mm I failed at anatomy," he murmured, pulling her down to kiss her. "I always got to distracted." "Oh no you're such a horrible student," Esme teased. "Ooh I can feel that little...hem...distraction." She was on her back in an instant and Carlisle was rubbing his "distraction" against her. "Little?" he asked. He pressed his hips between her legs and she gasped, her breath hitched in her throat. "Oh beautiful darling." "Oh god..." "This is anything but little," he whispered. Esme reached her small hand down and wrapped her fingers around him. "Mmm nnnn Esme..." "Ooh big boy," she purred. "Damn it Esme you're so damn sexy," Carlisle groaned. Esme loved how his mental filter seemed to diminish when they were like this. He was more vampire when he was like this. The kinky side of her loved it when Carlisle bit her. The pain mixed with the pleasure form orgasm and she felt a strange power from it. "I have to get back to work," Esme sighed. "Not yet," Carlisle whispered, he pushed between her legs and moved her underwear. "Esme I want to make love to you," he whispered, "I want to lay beside you tonight and hold you while you dream." "I'll come back tonight then, after the others go to sleep," Esme whispered. "As for the making love," she rubbed her hips against his, "I suppose I can make time for that." Carlisle smiled and buried his face in her neck. He kissed her neck and along her collarbone as he pushed into her. Esme smiled, breathless, and wrapped her arms around him. Her strong vampire. She could feel pain in him but he would tell her about it later. As he moved at a steady pace she ran her hand through his hair and their tongues danced. There was nothing in the world that would ever part them. --Carlisle had never been so angry in his life. He threw his phone across the room, shattering it against the wall and effectively ending the conversation between him and his father. He did something he hadn't done in years. He threw a tantrum. And quite a tantrum it was. He threw everything he could get his hands on and when Emmett popped in to see what was wrong he screamed at him to leave him alone. Startled, Emmett left with his newborn in his arms. Angrily, Carlisle fell onto his bed and put his head in his hands. He ran his hands through his golden hair and squeezed his eyes shut. If he could cry there would be tears pouring down his cheeks. He laid down and sighed. He jumped up and ran down the halls until he found Esme. She was polishing silver when he found her. She squeaked when he grabbed her. The silver clattered to the floor and the wall shook with the force in which he crashed against it. Fortunately Esme didn't get most of the shock as his hand braced it before he pressed her back against the wall.

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Her lips weren't so lucky. His crashed against hers with enough force for a vampire and held her so tightly against him she was sure he was going to crush her. Esme was barely able to break her mouth away from his to gasp for air. Carlisle brought her back instantly only softer. His tongue pushed into her mouth and he felt instantly into her favorite rhythm. When he finally let her go to gasp for air again Esme held his face in her hands to keep him from assaulting her mouth again. "What is going on?" She asked, stroking his cheek gently. "My father," he said through gritted teeth. He buried his face in her neck. He smelled her hair and the soft feel of her warm skin. "Esme he's engaged me to another woman." Her heart stopped and she seemed to shut down. She pushed away from him and picked up the silver with shaking hands. She put it in a bin of water on the counter and bent down to mop the spilled polish from the floor. "Esme..." "You're a vampire and I am a human. You have expectations for your life and things expected of you. I will be with you always Carlisle." "I love you Esme," Carlisle said, walking up to her and taking her hands, "this other woman...I hate her so much. I have met her before and she's terrible. It will be a political marriage and...Esme I'll be miserable with her. Father won't see reason." "You'll get married," Esme said threading her fingers through his, "I've watched it before and I'll do it again. I am human. I am your slave. You have no reason to have me." "I love you. Does that mean anything to you?" "You knew this would happen one day," Esme said gently, "I'll be there. If you want to keep an affair I will. If not then I will respect your choice." "I want you," Carlisle said. He touched her cheek and she leaned into it. He felt her warm tears on his hand as he touched his forehead to hers. "All I have ever wanted was you." --Bella sent Jessica to pick up the bottles for half of the family while she went to go get Carlisle's special blood. She walked up to the counter and the woman working the register gave her a customary smile. "What can I get for you?" she asked. "I need three bottles of A, four AB and seven O." "Positive or negative?" "Neg, pos, neg," Bella sighed. The woman nodded and put the order in. "One twenty seventy five," the woman said. Bella handed her the credit card and a few minutes she got it back. She still had to get the food for the human staff and pick up the sweets that her vampires loved.

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Her vampires. That was a weird concept for her. She looked around the market. The sun was shining bright and the few vampires there were sparkling in the light. When her name was called she grabbed the bags and carried them over to the blood bank to meet up with Jessica. "Jess?" She called. Bella sighed. She didn't like Jessica very much. There was something about the girl that just set her off. So she was more than content with waiting for her outside in the sunlight. It was late winter and the weather was warmer. The sunlight felt good on her skin. She leaned against the building and closed her eyes. "Well hello wildcat." Her eyes snapped open. She didn't have to look to know who the voice belonged to. It was the voice she heard over and over again in her nightmares. "Your master is a fool to have not fucked you yet," he whispered in her ear. Bella jumped away from him and turned. She saw him again in person for the first time in months. Vincent. The cruel dark haired vampire that shattered her happiness. "Where is your dear sister?" He asked in a low purr. "S-stay away from me," Bella said stepping back. His cold hand snagged her wrist. His hand felt different. Colder somehow. Or maybe it was the texture. His skin was rough whereas her vampires always had soft hands. "You smell so delicious, mmm I could drain you without a second thought. The smell of your blood though...so unique." Bella had heard from Carlisle that the pill or injection they had been given makes them smell funny. Vincent looked at her the way he looked in her dreams. His eyes were lusty and hungry. He held her wrist tight in his iron hands. Bella knew that it was useless to scream. Nobody cared. Every time she came here there was always a human or two that would go against her master or try to fight. What was she to anyone that could help her? Vampires didn't care. But Edward would. If she had been in danger Edward would have tried to save her. Wouldn't he? His face appeared in her mind and she felt pain. Surprisingly she wondered if she was ever going to see him again. Was she going to see him again? What about Alice or Esme? Carlisle or Jasper? Her sister was her world and Esme had come into it as a new mother, someone who took care of her, no questions asked. Then there was Edward, Carlisle, Jasper and (when he was in the house) Emmett. Her vampires. Her family. It was hard to remember sometimes that she was their slave, a far cry from where she was when they bought her. Bella acted on impulses she hadn't felt so strongly in months. Her foot struck in his lower abdomen and she pushed him back. She took off running and he caught her. His rough hands grabbed her and lifted her from the ground. She clawed and kicked at him. She bit his skin and struggled but it was pointless. She was weak in his arms. He was going to take her away forever. She was being stolen again but this time she wasn't going to the center. He was going to him. She was never going to see her sister again. She was never going to see Edward again. TBC

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DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT Chapter 10, "Esme!" Jessica called as she ran in. "Esme!" Carlisle growled slightly into Esme's neck, he didn't want any disruptions from anyone right then. But Esme pushed away from him, touching his cheek gently and whispering "tonight" to keep him from losing his temporarily fragile temper. "What is it Jessica?" "Bella's gone!" "What do you mean gone?" Esme asked sharply. "I mean she went off to get Master Carlisle's blood while I went off to get the others and when we were supposed to meet up she didn't show! I don't know if she ran away or not because all I could find was the bag of synthetic blood on the ground with some of the bottles broken, like she dropped them or something." "Oh my lord," Esme breathed. Carlisle put his hand on her shoulder and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He felt a headache coming on. "Edward!" He called. His brother looked a little annoyed about being summoned but thankful to be away from homework. "Yes?" "Bella's missing," Carlisle said, "Jessica says that she didn't meet up when they were supposed to and all she found was a bag with broken blood bottles." Edward didn't say anything. He wanted to strangle the frail human girl before him for being so careless but he knew he should really just be angry with himself. He should have gone with her. She wanted him to go with her (a fact he figured out after she had left). Without a word he turned. "Don't you even care?" Esme asked. Edward's fist tightened. He didn't say anything to her. --Alice was chewing on her nails. Jasper was holding her and using everything he had to keep her calm. It wasn't working. It was failing actually. He grabbed her hand and pulled it to her lips and flicked his tongue over it. She was confused and then she noticed, as she saw her thumb, that she had chewed down to her skin. "Careful love," he whispered. "You'll hurt yourself."

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"Jasper my sister is all I have left!" Alice cried. "Jessica came back alone! Alone!" "I know, dearest, I know," Jasper murmured, stroking her hair and kissing her temple. "Please my heart please stay calm." Edward was pissed. Jessica returned alone and his human was gone. Jessica said that she had waited for as long as she could and Bella had never showed up. It was possible that Bella ran away. That alone pissed Edward off. If Bella had run away he would find her, drag her back and lock her up. But he knew something else was wrong. Bella had been taken. He would go to the market and he would find her. --It was dark and cold when Bella awoke. She didn't know where she was and knew little about how she had come to be there. She felt metal on her ankles and wrists and tugged on them. She was held to the wall by four thick chains that clinked when she moved. She tried to see where she was but saw very little. The room was big and dark. There was a fluorescent light above her that buzzed softly. She realized that she was wearing something different. She was dressed in a small dress similar to what she wore before Edward bought her. "Now you'll be shown just how a real human is treated, not that you're a stranger to cruelty with those scars on your back." "Don't you touch me!" "What are you going to do about it?" Vincent asked with a laugh in his voice. "Scream at me? Your hands and legs are bound so you can forget about a crotch shot." He walked up to her and she shivered when she felt him drag his nose against her jaw, smelling her. "So sweet," he purred, tracing her lower lip with his finger, "a perfect virgin. Has he not bitten you? I can't detect any of him in you. Tisk tisk. Well waste not want not." Bella snapped at him and he jerked his hand back. He laughed grabbed her head in his hands. "You are so entertaining wildcat," he groaned. He took her hand and pressed it to his groin, "feel how hard you make me." Bella felt it and a tingle of fear ran down her spine. He smiled at that and licked her temple, just under her hair line. "You're frightened aren't you?" he asked. "You're already sweating in fear. Your heart is racing and you are trembling. You know that I am going to fuck you. You know that it is going to hurt. Think of it, something this big going into a hole too small with nothing to make it glide. You'll be bone dry because you are so scared. Or maybe you'll be wet because you enjoy it so much. Your mother was wet when we had her. Do you remember pet? Remember her cries? It'll hurt worse for you because she was stretched and used. You're tight. Probably as tight as your little ass will be." Bella's eyes widened and she felt her heart stop. Vincent laughed. "Yes my pet, I'm going to fuck you hard in every damn hole you have. I'll show you what it means to be human. To be nothing more than a warm tight hole for a vampire. You'll bleed. Oh yes you will bleed and I

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will lick it up so that I have more strength to go again. You'll be feeding me pet. Feeding me so that I can be strong. Strong so that I can make you scream all over again." She felt faint. She was so scared of him and he knew it. She wished more than anything in the world that she was with Edward. She would take Lord Cullen's abuse over where she was now. The question was when would he start? Would he keep playing mind games or would he just start her torture? She was answered almost instantly. He pushed her back into the hard wall and she coughed. He grabbed her skirt and pulled it up, hitching it around her hips. He tore her underwear off and kicked her legs apart. It did hurt. It did burn. Bella screamed and he laughed. Each movement was slow and painful, like rubbing up against hot sandpaper. She could feel something warm trickle down her thigh. She was bleeding and by the feel of it she was bleeding bad. He moved over and over again then faster and faster. It hurt a little less and Bella wondered if it was because her body was adapting or she had just bled enough to form a lubricant. "Remember how this feels," Vincent grunted, "remember this pain. You are human. You are less then nothing to a vampire." --Edward was restless. He had searched the entire market and found nothing but her scent mixed with a vampires. Some vampire had his Bella. He could only think of the horrible things that she would have to endure. He and his family were good to their humans. He would tease his kitten or play with her, but he would never hurt her. He would never rape her or beat her, not after the first time. His brothers were the same. They would never abuse their humans like other vampires would. Hell Carlisle was in love with his and Edward was pretty sure Jasper was too. Well that was a fine way to piss their father off. All of his sons were suckers for human girls. --Carlisle was annoyed that Esme didn't come up to him but he knew it was irrational. He could hear her down in the servants quarters, comforting a sobbing Alice. The poor girl. Her sister was all she had in this world and she was gone. The girls were strong together but how would they be apart? Had they ever been apart before? Carlisle felt his heart bleed for the two of them. He hoped with everything he had that Bella was at least safe. He heard Jasper walk by and head downstairs. He knew how his brother felt about Alice, it was obvious. Jasper was so happy with his human, just as he was with Esme. Jasper reached the servants quarters and went in. "Esme, might I borrow Alice?" "She's in no state to do anything right now," Esme reminded him. "Esme." Alice stood and went to Jasper. He led her from the room and up the stairs to his own. He sat on the bed and pulled her gently into his arms. "I want to watch you while you sleep," he murmured, "I want to hold you until the tears dry." That made Alice burst into tears again. How could she deserve such a lover? "Jasper, I love you so much," she sobbed. "I'm so scared. You have to find Bella! She's never been alone before!"

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"We will find her," Jasper promised, "but right now you need to sleep. You're so tired love." "I can't sleep. I keep thinking about her and what she must be going through." Jasper sang a soft lullaby and brushed his hand over her hair over and over again in a soothing motion. He influenced the environment around him and soon Alice was asleep in his arms. He looked at her with soft eyes. His angel. His everything. How he fell in love with a human he didn't know but he did know that he had been waiting all his life for her. That was why no vampire girl had ever caught his attention. He was waiting for her. Just like she was waiting for him. She clung to him like a child. His shirt was balled in her fist and she still cried even in sleep. He held her closer. He closed his eyes and kissed her forehead. He was tired himself. A rare desire to sleep. But he was happy that this time, he would share his sleep in her arms. --Vincent hadn't lied. Bella felt that as he released her and dragged her to the next room. She had lost count of how many times he came in her. She could feel it on her legs. The various fluids from sex were dribbling down her thighs. He threw her into the small room and she saw other humans. They cowered away from their master. He threw her up against the corner and unzipped his pants. "This will be your new home," he said as he started to rub himself, "you will not do any of the chores that these others do but you will serve only me. You will be there when I want you and if you are sluggish in any way I will punish you. But you like it when I punish you right pet?" Bella couldn't muster the energy to glare at him. "How does it feel pet? Here, a little bedtime snack." He grabbed her hair and pulled her head back. Bella kept her mouth closed even though it took all of her energy to do so. He grabbed her jaw and forced her mouth open. "Drink up pet." He didn't seem to be too interested in hitting the mark. When he came he shot her in the face and called it good. She crumpled into a tired heap on the floor, to broken and sore to move. With the last of her energy she wiped his cum from her face and wiped the back of her hand on her dress. Then she closed her eyes. She was barely aware of gentle arms curling around her and pulling her deeper into the room, into warmth. The arms continued to hold her among whispers. Her legs were pulled together and she was balled up. A thin blanket was wrapped around her, then another. Someone was giving her their warmth. Someone was showing her kindness and she didn't even have the strength to thank them or even open her eyes. But their kindness didn't stop at that. A gentle hand was brushing over her hair, tucking it behind her ears and pulling it away from her neck. She felt herself at peace. The hands were so gentle. She heard a soft sob and a prayer. "Thank you," the voice whispered. Soft and gentle and familiar. Gentle lips kissed the top of her head. Bella had to open her eyes. It took everything she had but she did. Through the darkness she could make out a face. It was a face, lined with age and time, but so similar to hers. Soft loving brown eyes and dark cropped hair.

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"Mom?" she whispered. "Hush now love," Renee whispered as she continued to pet her daughter's hair, "you're weak and so tired." "You're alive." "Yes," she said. "Now rest." Bella nodded. She could hardly believe that this was real. Her mother was alive. She couldn't really tell physically if she had changed or not, it was too dark and she was too tired. She was in her mother's arms again. She was as thin as always but still as warm as she remembered. She whispered a soft lullaby and Bella let herself cry. She clutched her mother's grimy clothes and cried into her lap. "Mommy," she cried. "Hush now Bella, sweet girl, get some rest. You need sleep, look at you. You're so tired." "Everything hurts so bad." "I know baby I know," Renee sobbed. This was the last thing she wanted to ever see. She was overjoyed to see her precious child again. Her sweet little girl was hers again but she would have rather never seen her again if it meant she was safe. "I'll be right back," she promised. "No, mommy, don't leave me," Bella sobbed. "Just for the briefest of moments love, I promise," Renee promised. She kissed Bella's forehead and disappeared into a side room where there was a water basin and some rags. She came back with a wet towel and lifted the blankets from Bella's legs. In the dim light Renee could see the damage Vincent had done to her. "I'm going to clean you now love, this may hurt some." Bella nodded and Renee carefully spread her legs. She carefully dabbed the towel on Bella's skin. Blood and semen was drying on her. Renee's eyes filled with tears as she mopped up her master's mess. "I have to clean you out now," Renee said, "this will hurt baby." As much as she didn't want to, Renee pushed the towel into her daughter to clean out the mess Vincent had left. Bella cried out as the towel rubbed against her raw skin. Renee soothed her with a lullaby. Bella sobbed and tried to keep from crying out. The water was cold and the rag was rough. When she was clean Renee dipped the rag again in the icy water and wrung it out. She made sure that her legs were cleaned and she dabbed the mess on Bella's chin and neck. She turned her over gently and tried not to cry when she saw that the damage continued. "What?" Bella asked, "how bad?" Her skin was bruised terribly, it was already beginning to darken. Renee was reminded of her days as a new mother, cleaning her baby's poo filled diaper. But that was a mess she was more than happy to clean. This was horrifying to her. Blood was already dried to the backside of one of her thighs and there was some semen on her lower back. Renee checked to see just how much damage had been done. "Bruising, and some tearing," Renee said, "you'll be very uncomfortable for a while."

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Renee cleaned the mess there too and Bella bit her lip to keep from crying as the rag went over the raw hole. Renee finished and she was handed a very wet rag. "Sweetie this will be very cold but it will help with the swelling." Renee twisted part of the rag and tucked it right up against the swelling on Bella's bottom and then brought it around so it covered all of her vagina. Bella shivered at the cold and her mother smoothed her hair. "This will help," she said. "Now please rest." Bella nodded and soon fell asleep. As Bella slept Renee looked her over in the dim light she had grown used to. Her daughter was beautiful, almost intimidatingly so. She had been taken care of, of that Renee was sure. The vampires that had her were kind and gentle with her. She was a healthy weight. She had put on some after being taken. Her hair was clean and long. Her vampires were kind to her and it warmed Renee's heart. She saw the branding on her ankle and wondered briefly what it said. She saw scars on her back, deep from being whipped over shallow ones. But beyond that her sleeping daughter looked like an angel. "My baby," Renee whispered, still stroking Bella's hair, "my beautiful girl." After a while Bella began to twitch in her sleep. She winced and her hand tightened around her mother's clothes. "Edward," she whispered. Renee wondered who Edward was. A boy she worked with perhaps? That was sweet. Her daughter was in love with one of the boys she lived with. How precious. She was so happy for her little girl and hoped for the best. In the morning she would ask her about him. She would ask about her little Alice and how their lives were going. Her other daughter was surely to be as safe as Bella was. The two girls were taken together, hopefully they were still together. With that comforting thought Renee curled up beside her child and drifted into the first comfortable sleep she had had in months. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 11, Bella felt like screaming when she awoke the next morning. Her body ached in places she didn't even know she had. She was aware of the blankets over her and an arm. She touched the hand and the events from the night before came rushing back. "Mom," she said, sitting up quickly but falling back when her body protested. "Yes, Bella?" "Oh mom it wasn't a dream," Bella cried, throwing her arms around Renee's neck, "you are here." "I wish it were," Renee said sadly, "as much as I missed you and as happy as I am to see you I wish you were far from this place."

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"No, mom, we're together again, that's more important than anything." Renee smiled sadly and touched her daughter's cheek. "You were lucky," she said gently, "you should see how beautiful you are." "I'm nothing special," Bella muttered, "you should see Esme." "Is Esme your friend?" Renee asked, tucking some of Bella's hair behind her ear. "She's more like the mom of the group," Bella said, "she looks out for us and holds us when we cry. She reminded me of you because she was so gentle and caring." "I'm glad you have someone looking out for you. What of Alice? Was she with you?" Bella nodded and then her face fell. She hadn't thought of her sister since she arrived. How was she holding up? "We're still together," Bella said, "or we were. She is happy where she is. Our vampires were kind to us. Especially Master Carlisle." "Tell me about your life with them," Renee said, still fidgeting with Bella's hair, a habit from their life as a family that Bella missed. "Carlisle is a doctor and he takes care of us. When his father whipped me so hard he was there to help me when I got sick from the infection. Master Jasper is a bit on the icy side but he's a gentle person. He's very quiet. Mistress Rosalie is frightening and too much like her father for my taste but thankfully she and her husband live in a new house. Alice had the good luck when we were bought. Jasper is the favorite of Lord Cullen's sons. Where as mine..." Thinking about Edward hurt as much as it did to think about Alice. Bella sighed and looked down at her hands. "He's hard to understand. He's whipped me once at his father's orders and they didn't really scar. He was gentle almost. He would tease me daily but it was always just that. He promised me that he and his brothers wouldn't...wouldn't rape us or abuse us." "You believe him?" Bella nodded. "Mom I miss them all so much. I never dreamed that I would come to call vampires friends...but I look at Esme who has been with Carlisle since they were children and they are the best of friends. In fact they're in love." "Love? With a vampire?" Renee wrinkled her nose at the idea. Bella didn't say anything. She was in love with a vampire. That's what the feelings had to be. The reason she missed Edward so much, even his teasing. She was in love with him. More tears began to leak down her cheeks. He promised her that this would never happen. Would he even bother to save her? "I have to go to work now," Renee said touching her cheek and kissing her forehead, "I'll see you at dinner."

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"Where should I go?" Bella asked. "I can't say, I'm sure he'll come for you. "Mom I can't stay here. We can't stay here." Renee looked at her daughter with painful eyes. She didn't say anything. She hugged her daughter tight and left. Bella was alone. Right about this time she would be waking up to start her day and Edward would be getting ready to tease her about this or that. She would look over at Alice after stretching and sighing and they would promise each other to make it through the day with sanity intact and leave each other with a big hug. "Sore pet?" Bella jumped and a cold hand came onto her shoulder. "Come, I want to play." --Edward was laying on his bed completely and totally out of ideas. He had a scent and that was it. But there were millions upon millions of vampires in the world! How was he supposed to narrow it down?! How was he supposed to even start?! The scent had grown cold by the time he searched the market and the only reason he was able to find it was because they must have spent more time there. There was no trail leading him to whoever had Bella. It was strange to him how months ago he would have hardly cared. He would have been angry because he didn't like it when people took his things but he would have gotten over it. Now he was livid. He was finding it physically difficult to be without her and that frightened him. He was combing the thoughts around him not for thoughts about his mother as he was used to but thoughts about Bella. Alice was usually a good place for that. Her mind was constantly on her sister. Memories ran through her like a river, showing Edward everything they had been through together. There were happy times like sitting and playing clapping games with their parents and cuddling up for a bedtime story and there were sad times like when Charlie was sick and they were scared he wouldn't get better or worse of all the night they were separated. She was remembering the look in Charlie's eyes when he was killed. Quickly she shook the thoughts from her head and walked on but Edward saw them return. This time at the Center. He saw the memory of the confusion that was going through the shower. The woman, whom he assumed to be Renee, was holding both Alice and Bella tightly to her. Alice remembered then being sorted and pulled away from her mother before they were locked in their cages. She scrambled into Bella's arms and both girls cried. Edward couldn't watch anymore. He felt horribly sick to his stomach. He stood up and was about to go for another walk to clear his thoughts when there was a soft knock on the door. "Come in," he said. "Hey stranger." "Tanya? What are you doing here I thought you were in school." "I know but I missed you Eddie, I thought I'd come and visit." "I'm kind of busy," he said.

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"Homework can wait," she purred, kissing his cheek and wrapping her arms around his shoulders. "Right baby?" "Someone has stolen Bella and I need to get her back." "Oh just put out an alert and forget about it," Tanya groaned, "Eddie she's just a human." She was right. Bella was just a human. But she was his human. She was funny and smart in her own way and he was kicking himself daily...hourly...for letting her go to the market without him. "She's my human," Edward growled, "she's become a friend to me and I am not going to abandon her." "So you're blowing me off for a human?" Tanya asked, pulling back. "Yeah," he said simply, "a human that never asked me to do weird shit in sex that I wasn't comfortable with when she knew that." "How was I supposed to know?!" "Because I kept voicing that it didn't like it!" "Oh Edward you're such a prude." "I don't love you anymore, Tanya," Edward said, "and to be honest I'm not sure if I ever did. I think I just told myself that I loved you." Tanya was enraged. She slapped him and he sighed. "You can't dump me!" "I just did." "You will regret this Edward Cullen just you wait." Tanya stormed off and Edward sighed. Right now he kind of wished that Emmett was around to make him laugh but he and Rosalie were off living in their new mansion with their new baby. He could go to Carlisle but what good would that do? He didn't have any new problems he needed advice on, besides his brother's mind was clearly elsewhere. No matter how much he cared about Bella he was too distracted by his new engagement and his love for Esme. But there was Esme. Edward turned the corner and saw her dusting the glossy wood tables. She looked sad, like any woman would if she lost a child. "Esme," Edward said quietly. "Oh, Edward, Tanya was here did you see?" "Yeah, we broke up," Edward said, "I think I'm in love with Bella." Esme put the rag and dusting spray down. She walked over and hugged Edward. "Oh honey," she sighed. She kissed his cheek and smoothed his hair. "I'm sorry, you must be hurting so much."

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"I don't know where to go I don't have any thing to go off of! All I know is that she's been having nightmares and I have a scent." "Do you recognize the scent?" Esme asked. "Just that he's a vampire and he was horny. God Esme I can't even begin to imagine what he's doing to her...I don't want to. But someone as beautiful as her won't be untouched for long. What if he..." "That is a definite possibility," Esme agreed sadly, releasing him and folding her hands like she did when she was anxious. "If that is the case, when you do find her she isn't going to be the same." "It's her worst fear," Edward said, "she told me when we were locked up. She saw it happen to her mother and that scares her most of all." "You have to find her Edward." "Yes I know that! But how?! How do I even begin to find her?! She could be anywhere!" "Did you send out an alert?" Esme asked. Edward nodded. "Carlisle dropped it off on his way to work." "Do you have any leads at all? Did she mention a vampire stalking her at all?" "No, but he was having dreams. Nightmares. A vampire named Vincent." "Well start there," Esme said, "it's better than nothing." Edward nodded. He hugged Esme again and ran off. --Bella could only hope that he was done for the day. She laid helplessly on the cold stone floor. She was so tired and so weak. "You look tired," Vincent sighed sitting next to her, "I don't think you've eaten today either. Hm. well, I will give you a snack if you do something for me." Bella didn't answer and she turned her head. She wasn't interested in any offer he had to make. "Call me your master," he said. She wasn't going to give him satisfaction and whatever answer she gave he was only going to hurt her again, somehow. He had already given a list of things for her to be afraid of. He was going to rape her again, or maybe gag her with his penis or just slap her and laugh when she bled. She remained silent. That made him angry and he grabbed her. Bella knew what it meant but she didn't willingly go along with him, though she was sure he was going to break her teeth out one of these days. He parted her lips effortlessly and sighed. "I love that hot little mouth of yours," he sighed happily.

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The tip gagged her again but she held it back. She hated this. It was humiliating and the taste was awful. He wasn't creative though so she wasn't surprised. She hated having to swallow but he wouldn't pull her head up until she did. She was sure she was going to get sick. She wondered how much longer until he was tired. How much longer until she could stagger back into her mother's arms. Renee would probably clean her up again and then she would nestle into her mother's arms and pretend that everything was okay. That thought brought her a little comfort even though she knew it wouldn't last. --"Alice," Edward said walking into Jasper's study. His brother looked up and Alice crawled out of his lap. "Yes?" "I need you to think about everything you can remember about the night you were taken." Alice paled a little. Clearly she didn't like thinking about it. "Edward be reasonable," Jasper growled, "don't hurt her like that!" "I-I..." "Please, Alice, just remember the vampire's faces." Alice nodded and went back into her memories. Edward saw a whirl of faces until he saw the ones he was looking for. "Which one of them is Vincent?" he asked. Alice brought his face up instantly. The laughing mocking face of the vampire hunter as he dragged them along. Dark haired and red eyed. Edward memorized his face and when he was done he hugged Alice tight and left. --"You're in love with him aren't you?" Vincent asked as he jerked his hips upwards again. Bella whimpered and tried not to cry. "She told me where to find you, his girlfriend did. Do you like that he has a girlfriend? She tells me that he's crying like a little baby because you're gone." Bella tried to tune him out after that. Edward was upset because she was gone. He wanted to find her. That made her heart fill with joy for the first time since she was here. He loved her. Her vampire loved her. That brought a new pain to her heart. He loved her and it was his girlfriend and a hunter that were doing this to her. He was going to find her but how long would that be? Would Vincent even let her live that long? How long would it be until she was too used for his liking. "How do you feel pet?" Vincent asked. "I told you that I would fuck the spark out of you." Edward was going to find her. He was going to save her. That was all she could believe in.

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"Edward will find you and kill you," Bella promised. She was rewarded for her remark with such force that she blacked out. --Edward ran into the center and into the back room where he knew someone would know who he was looking for. "Can I help you?" Edward recognized the vampire as the one who helped him buy Bella. Rick was it? It didn't matter. "I'm looking for a vampire named Vincent." "I don't know him," Rick said. "Oh I know you do," Edward growled, "and I know that you know who I am and who my father is." Rick faltered a little but kept a straight face. "How valuable is the information to you?" "You expect me to pay you?" "Yes, I do," Rick said simply, "I man has to make a business and you are asking me to sell out my best hunter." "How about this, I leave your face intact." Rick laughed and then vaulted over the table. Of course Edward saw this coming and dodged. He grabbed Rick's arm, forced it against his back and pushed him against the wall. "I'm warrior class," Edward reminded him, "I've been studying various martial arts and combat styles since I could walk. My class strength out ranks yours by far, and I have been having a few very bad days, now give me the information I'm looking for or I will find it myself." "In the cabinet," Rick said, "he has a file." "Thank you kindly," Edward said letting him go and swallowing the little bit of venom that had begun to collect. He went to the cabinet and opened it. He found files and found one on Vincent. It had an address and that was all Edward needed. He kept the file just incase and left. --Bella didn't remember how she came to be alone in the freezing room. She was pulled tighter against a barely warm body. Her mother was going to keep her as safe as she could manage. Bella felt her heart warm at that thought and it hurt her as well. Renee would die here just so her baby could have the chance to live. Live to face more pain. "Mom...I can't..." "Can't what baby?" Renee asked.

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"Don't try to keep me alive," Renee hugged her tighter even though it hurt them both. Vincent had brought her in as well. This time it was Renee who watched helpless and Bella who tried not to scream. Then it was both. Bella hurt more knowing that she caused the pain. If she had only stayed quiet Renee would have been unharmed. "You're so cold," Renee whispered, "just like in the winters back when you were young." "You and dad wrapped us up in all the blankets because they were too small for all of us. Then dad made you bundle up with us." "Your father was a good man," Renee said fondly, "lord do I miss him but I am happy that he never had to see you in pain like this. He loved you so much." "I can't feel anything," Bella mumbled, "I can't feel my hips anymore." "Hold on baby, please, hold on for me," Renee whispered, "I can't lose you again. I can't stand it. My little Bell." "I love you mom," Bella sobbed, "I've missed you so much." "I've missed you too." They sat in silence. Renee smoothed her hair and tried to keep her as warm as she could. --Edward caught the scent immediately when he reached Vincent's home. This was him. The vampire that had his Bella. He ran into the house, ignoring the startled humans and tried to find Bella. He could see her in some of the minds. The new arrival that the master loves. He ran down the stairs into the cold basement and found her scent was strongest down here. He could smell her fear and her tears and worst of all the stale scent of sex. Edward ran through the rooms of the basement finding her scent everywhere. He checked every room until he reached the back. He felt cold as he approached the final door. He opened it. His breath caught in his chest and his body froze. She was there. She was laying as if in sleep (or at least Edward told himself it was sleep). He ran to her and fell to his knees. Renee went into protective mode and moved before her daughter. Edward hissed at her and gathered Bella into his arms. "She is mine," he growled. "She is nobody's," Renee growled back. Edward didn't bother with her after that. He touched Bella's cheek, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry I didn't protect you," he whispered. "Not as sorry as you will be for breaking in here."

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Renee took hold of her daughter. Edward turned and snarled at Vincent. "She is mine," he snarled. Vincent laughed. "What do I care? You were a fool not fucking her properly. Well I have done that for you." Edward stood. "I will personally see to it that you die." "You think you can take me on little boy?" Vincent laughed. "Kid I've been in this business for years. I've got your entire life on you." "I generally don't like beating the elderly." Vincent hissed and charged at him. Edward saw each move in his head and jumped out of the way. He flipped in the air and landed on Vincent. The vampire yelped and kicked Edward hard in the stomach. By birth Edward was in the warrior class, his skin was tougher and he was stronger. He had other advantages on his side such as venom he could summon. He was summoning it now. He didn't like using this particular defense but Bella was in danger. The room was freezing and he had no idea how long she had been in here. Enough venom could kill. Edward just found himself wishing that he had been able to produce it like his father could. Lord Cullen could produce an entire mouthful in just seconds. Carlisle too but he had only done it once when thugs threatened his little girl. Edward felt it dripping from his teeth. He charged Vincent and leapt on him. He landed and clung to his shoulders like a little monkey. Vincent tried to throw him off but he couldn't get a good grip behind him. Edward sank his teeth into the vampire's hard neck. The venom poured into the vampire. He knew it wasn't enough though. For someone of Vincent's size anyway. His father had never properly trained him like he had trained his other children so Edward was going off of what he read in books. This was the first time he had ever had to kill before. That was a scary thought. He wasn't a killer and he knew that. The venom flow began to weaken and Vincent threw him off. But he was most certainly in pain. He took Bella. He raped her and beat her. Your Bella. Your sweet and beautiful Bella. He laughed as she screamed. You can see it in his mind. The thoughts helped the venom flow. Vincent screamed as the poison coursed through him and burned his body. Edward didn't stop. He tackled Vincent again and bit him again. The venom surged this time like it was supposed to. He pumped even more into him for good measure. He would take no chances, this vampire would die here and now. He could see Bella in his mind. Her frail and weak body shivering in the cold. Edward pulled away and Vincent was dead. Yellowish liquid was oozing from the crescent shaped wound on his neck. Edward spit the remaining venom onto the ground and felt his mouth clear. He turned to look at Bella. He went to her and knelt down. He found that he was almost nervous. He was shaking. Part of it was the thrill of the fight and the shock that he had actually killed someone but most of it was he was afraid of when Bella awoke. How angry would she be with him for letting her be kidnapped? What if she wasn't going to wake up? "How long has she been here?" He asked, trying to control his shaking voice. "Almost an hour at best guess," Renee said, "where are you taking her?"

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"Home," Edward said lifting her up carefully as though she were a soap bubble. "You helped her." "She's my child." "You look different from when I saw you last," Edward observed. "Come, you and Esme will know better than I will of how to care for her." Renee followed. Edward reached his car and laid Bella in the back and Renee sat with her. He watched as the older woman comforted her and sobbed silently. Bella was alive, but very cold and very weak. He could tell that Renee was still wary of him, years of abuse built a strong distrust that wasn't going to disappear because one vampire saved her daughter. Edward tried to search her mind but found little. She wasn't as silent as her daughter, but she was definitely quiet. He could mostly just pick up tones. Right now she was afraid. Edward turned the heater up as high as it would go and tried to direct the air streams back. "Is she warming up?" "A little, yes." "We'll be home soon," Edward promised. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 12, "How is she?" Edward asked as he sped onto the interstate. "She's still cold," Renee said. "But her lips aren't blue." Edward broke one hundred. He swerved around the cars on the road and reached his exit. He tore off into the neighborhoods until they reached the beautiful mansion he called home. "Hold onto me," he said, pulling Renee onto his back. He carried Bella and ran at top speed into the house. He let Renee down. "CARLISLE!" he yelled. "CARLISLE I FOUND HER!" His brother was there in a flash. "Give her to me," Carlisle ordered, "upstairs, into my study." Edward grabbed Renee and ran up the stairs with his brother. They turned into a large room that Carlisle used as his office. He pushed everything off of the desk and laid Bella on top of it. "Edward my bag," he said. Edward handed him his black bag and Carlisle cut Bella's filthy clothes off. Renee, who had never seen Bella in the proper light, gasped at the injuries and Edward punched a hole in Carlisle's wall. "Thanks for that Edward," Carlisle grumbled. With a touch as light as a feather, Carlisle examined her body,

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checking for broken bones and serious internal damage. "What's the damage?" Edward asked. "You don't want to know. Why don't you two go wait outside while I do this." "Has that synthetic blood finally screwed up your brain?" Edward grumbled. "I'm not leaving her," Renee said. "Edward I am right to assume that you killed him. I need you to give Jasper all the information you have so that he can go and dispose of the body. The last thing we need is police involvement and I can promise you that she'll be out in the cold if our father learns of what happened. You know how he gets." "Carlisle..." "If you care about her you'll go," Carlisle said sharply, "do you trust me at all?" "I do but..." "Take her mother down for something warm to drink, she looks frozen." "I'm fine," Renee insisted, "I can't leave her. Not now." "I understand that you don't trust me," Carlisle said, "but Bella does. Edward, please, work with me. I'm sure Alice would love to see you again." Renee stiffened at the mention of her second daughter and seemed to be torn between the two. Edward put his hands on her shoulders and led her out. "Carlisle needs to have his way. He's a very skilled surgeon at the hospital and is well versed in human anatomy and medicine." "You don't understand, she is my baby girl." "Okay I'll be blunt with you," Edward said, "that's Carlisle's subtle way of saying he has to operate on her. I can hear his thoughts and he has to flush her system, which is something I'm sure she would want done without an audience. Now come, Esme will get you some fresh clothes and something to eat. You look starved." "I can't be away from her," Renee said. "I'm sorry, but it is what he needs." Edward carried Renee downstairs since she seemed unwilling to go herself. Esme was downstairs when he got there. "Oh, Edward, you're back. How did it go?" "Found her," Edward said, "she's in bad shape. This is her mother." "I could tell," Esme said, "she looks like her. Hello, I'm Esme."

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"Bella told me about you," Renee said, "she said you were like a mother to her. Thank you for watching over my girls." "It's no problem," Esme said, "Edward where is she?" "Carlisle is looking at her now," Edward said darkly, "she's in so much pain." "How bad?" Esme asked, pouring a cup of water for Renee. She went about making a simple meal for Renee and she had Edward sit before she warmed some blood for him. "Her torso looks like a patchwork of bruises. He raped her, Esme." "Oh no," Esme gasped. "Bad?" "I don't know..." "Yes," Renee whispered, still not drinking. "She's in so much pain." "Oh my goodness, the poor dear. Edward drink your blood." "I'm fine." "Edward, drink, Renee drink." "Are they happy here?" Renee asked. "Happy enough," Esme said, giving Renee and sandwich. "Alice and Jasper have become friends." "Very good friends," Edward snorted. "Oh like you are one to laugh," Jasper said slapping him upside the head. "So where did you leave the body?" "I have the file in my car," Edward said, "can you find any reason why he took her?" "I'll see what I can find," Jasper said, "let's hope you didn't leave too much of a mess." "I killed him with venom," Edward said. "Good boy," Jasper said patting his head, "I'll clean up the room anyway just incase you dripped." "Yeah, I think so." "I'll be back in a few hours at the most," Jasper sighed. "You might want to tell Alice that Bella is back, she's asleep up in my room." Edward raised his eyebrows. "She's been worried sick, I've been keeping her calm. She'll want to know that you're here too," he said looking at Renee. "See you guys later. Esme I'd like some blood when I get back." "Certainly."

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Moments later Carlisle came in. He went to the sink and washed his hands. "Well?" Edward asked. "Severe anal tissue damage. Going to the bathroom isn't going to be fun for a while. I'm mostly worried about her emotional health, oh thank you Esme," he said as she handed him a bottle of his synthetic blood. "She was having nightmares before...be prepared for night terrors." "Screaming?" Edward asked. "Among other things," Carlisle sighed taking a sip, "I can only guess what happened from the trauma on her body but she isn't going to be the same. Nightmares I imagine, she'll be sick for a little while. She may be skittish around vampires for a bit. I can't say how she'll react to you or myself or even Jasper. We are closer to her and she'll either find comfort or she'll shy away." Edward pushed away from the table and ran upstairs. He went into his room and slammed the door. He kicked a sweater and it flew into his wall. He ran his hands through his hair and found himself at quite a loss. Not only was he in love with his little human girl, but he was never going to be able to tell her. Not to mention she was laying battered and bruised in Carlisle's room. Edward wondered how he was ever going to tell her that he loved her and if she was ever going to believe him. "So say she did," Edward sighed as he fell onto his bed, "I could never kiss her or love her." She would fear his touch or give in because she felt she had to. Even if she willingly gave in out of desire, the vampire before him will have tainted her forever. As if he needed proof he heard Bella's scream. He vaulted out of bed and tore down the hallway. "Bella! Bella wake up!" "No more! Please no more!" Edward shook her shoulders and she awoke. She looked at him. Her eyes were still the beautiful shade of chocolate brown but they were wide and terrified. Her beautiful face was bruised. Edward touched her eye gently. "Bella I have you," he whispered, "nobody is going to hurt you." "Edward? Where am I?" "Carlisle's room," he said, "he gave you an exam and you are healthy...physically at least. Some tissue damage at worst. Why are you crying? Did I say something wrong?" Bella shook her head no and sank further into the quilts so only her forehead was exposed. Edward pulled them back to see she had curled into a fetal position. He realized that he didn't like her so far away from him. He lifted her carefully and she seemed to relax somewhat. Her arm wrapped around his neck and she buried her face in his shoulder. He carried her into his room and tucked her in. "Are you hurting? Carlisle put aside some medicine to help." "He saw me naked then?"

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"Yes," Edward said, "but he was a perfect gentleman. He flushed your lower system of all of what was left behind while he was cleaning you up. I could hear his thoughts, he was actually a little uneasy about being so close to your...parts." Bella laughed weakly and Edward smiled. "I missed you," he admitted, "I was so afraid." "I missed you too...for some reason." Edward laughed a short dry laugh. "Bella," he whispered touching her bruised cheek again, "if you knew..." "I think that's the first time you used my name," she whispered. His cold hand felt good on her cheek for reasons beyond the temperature. Why not go for it? Edward asked himself. "Bella I'm falling in love with you," he said, "I'm in love with your laugh and your smile, the way you blush when your embarrassed or angry. I'm in love with the passion in you and everything you are. I'm ashamed that it took your disappearance to make me see that." Bella was silent. A million thoughts ran through her tired head. He loved her? What did that mean? Did he just love her like a friend or romantic? It sounded like romantic love but she was a human and he was vampire. He went for vampire girls. How long would it be until he cast her aside for one of them? What about his vampire girlfriend?! Bella didn't care at all for her for obvious reasons but he loved her. "What about your..." Bella cut off. Tanya's face burst into her mind, mocking her and laughing while she tried not to scream in pain. "Tanya?" Bella shivered and Edward noticed. "Wow you really don't like her," he said, "you shivered." "Mm Master more," Tanya begged. Vincent pulled her head to his and kissed her over Bella's shoulder. "I want you to fuck her while I watch," Vincent said with a laugh. "I like it when my slaves play." Bella curled her knees to her chest and buried her head in them. "Don't talk about her." "Why?" Edward asked, touching Bella's hair. "I broke up with her anyway so you don't have to worry." Bella turned her head slightly so that she was looking away from him. "Bella, what's wrong?" --Jasper was thumbing through yet another file that made him want to vomit. He decided that Vincent was the

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king of kink. But at least he was an organized one. He thumbed through yet another file and came to Bella's file. There was a disk inside. Jasper shrugged and put it in the DVD player and pushed play. He regretted that immediately. The movie started with Bella, naked and bleeding, on the ground trying to catch her breath. "Oh pet you don't look so good," Vincent laughed from behind the camera. "Our little playmate is going to be here soon. Do you like that?" Bella coughed a few times and threw up. The vomit was filled with semen and blood (Jasper made a note to tell Carlisle). "Master may I enter?" "Yes you may," Vincent said. "Look at you all naked and beautiful. I left a mess in her, go clean it out." "Yes master." Tanya walked to Bella and knelt down. Jasper stopped the movie. "Sick bitch," he growled. "Death by venom was too good for you." While it was a horrible way to die there were worse ways. Jasper found himself wishing that Edward had opted for dismembering him and burning each piece slowly but time was a factor in that fight. Bella's life depended on a short and quick death. Much too good for him indeed but Jasper knew Edward felt better knowing it was him who did it. --"Bella, what happened?" Edward asked. "Please tell me so I can try and make it better." "Unless you can change the past there is nothing you can do." Edward was about to say more when his phone buzzed. "Give me good news Jasper." "Wrong phone call then," Jasper said grimly, "I found a little something that might piss you off further." "Is it about Bella?" Edward asked, seeing the slight shift in Bella's body at her name. "Remember how we kept telling you that Tanya was a skank? Add insane effing whore to the end of that." Edward growled, "what do you mean?" "Turns out Vincent was a well known dominator. Looks like your ex was really into bondage and stuff like that. I don't know how far she went, but if you care at all about Bella's mental recovery you'll never let Tanya near her again." Edward crushed his phone in his anger. He threw the pieces at the wall and Bella jumped. "I will kill her." He stormed out and Bella scrambled out of bed after him. Her body ached and protested but she had to reach him. "Edward please stop!"

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"Don't talk me out of it." "I can't keep running after you so stop! Please!" She was almost begging him. Edward slowed and she reached him. She took his hand in hers. She was shaking. She collapsed and he caught her. "Why shouldn't I? I don't know what she did to you but she was there. She helped do this to you." "As much as I would love to see her suffer for selling me out as well..." "Selling you out? That bitch led him to you?!" "EDWARD STOP!" Bella screamed. Edward stopped and looked at her. "Don't you get it?! If she dies people will know and they'll know it was you and you'll be taken away! If you love me like you say you do don't leave me!" She buried her face in his chest and held him tight around the middle, "please don't leave me." "I can only imagine what she did to you..." "Please don't. Just pretend she was never there." "You don't understand..." "I understand just fine, I was there!" Edward rested his chin on her head and sighed. "So basically you're asking me to know what she did to you and let her get away with it?" "Yes," Bella said, "I'm a human Edward. Vampires don't care about me." "I care about you," Edward murmured, "Carlisle and Jasper care about you." Bella pulled away. She turned and headed back down the hall. Edward took her hand and kept her still. "If you leave me alone I will go after her and find some way to destroy her. I am a jealous man who wants justice. I am a man in love for the first time and the woman I am falling hard for has been hurt because of me." "You weren't there, you had no involvement in what happened." "But it was because of me," Edward said, "you asked me to go with you and I didn't. I sent Jessica. I knew how beautiful you were to other vampires." "I was?" "You are," Edward said, "Kitten...Bella...you are far too beautiful for a human." "I need to lay down," Bella mumbled turning her head away. Edward nodded and they walked to his room. He tucked her in and she looked at him. He was almost afraid to look into her eyes now that it was dark. "Can I go downstairs? Sleep with my mom and sister?" "If you must," Edward said hesitantly.

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"You don't want me to?" "Well, it's warmer here for starters. I can't be alone right now." "I need my mom," Bella said trying to sit up. "Please let me go to her." Edward sighed. He understood that. He had been a screaming child begging for his mother once. He lifted her up and carried her downstairs. He went into the servants quarters and set her down. Esme was there immediately. She thanked Edward and steered Bella to her bed. "Tell me the moment something is wrong," Edward said, "where is Carlisle?" "He is in the library," Esme said. "Don't worry about her, she's in good hands." "Where are her mother and sister?" "Spending a moment alone. Alice is giving her a rundown and catching up." Edward nodded. He went over and kissed Bella's forehead, feeling upset when she stiffened. "Goodnight," he whispered. "Goodnight." Edward left and Esme sat beside her. "Are you hungry?" "No." "I'll bring you some soup, you have to eat darling." "I don't want to eat anything." Esme gave her a look and left. She returned a moment later with a steaming bowl of chicken soup that Bella was sure had been warming for a while. She had to admit, the food was much better when Lord Cullen was gone. Esme helped her sit up and Bella looked at the bowl. "Please eat." "I'm not hungry," Bella mumbled, "I'm just tired." "Bella you have to eat," Esme encouraged. "Your mother told me that Vincent didn't feed you anything." Bella sank into the pillow and Esme sighed. "I can call one of our dear vampires and they can help me," she sighed. Bella opened her mouth and Esme fed her a spoon full of soup. Bella took the spoon in her shaking hands and slowly ate, favoring the vegetables as Esme was keeping a close eye. She drank the rest and Esme was satisfied for the moment. She gave her some of the pills Carlisle had left for her and Bella snuggled into her small bed. "Bella!"

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Alice's voice was like a breath of fresh air. Bella sat up and opened her arms as her sister ran to her. "I was so afraid I would never see you again," Alice sobbed into her neck, "Bells don't ever leave me again!" "I'll try my best," Bella sniffed. Even though her body screamed in protest, there was nowhere she'd rather be than in her sister's arms. Alice sat down on the bed and laid Bella back. Renee tucked her in and then did the same to Alice. She sat between the two cots and held their hands. Bella yawned as the medications took over. She felt a little less pain but she was too sleepy to care. Renee sang a soft lullaby to them. "She'll be up in a few hours," Esme whispered as she and Renee dressed for sleep. "She had frequent nightmares before." "I never thought Bells would be the one to have the nightmares," Renee said sadly, pulling a long cotton shirt over her head. "She was always my brave little girl." "Oh she most certainly is," Esme agreed, "gave Edward a run for his money." "She mentioned his name in her sleep. I thought she was talking about a human." "Edward is a good man deep down. She's softened him quite a bit. I can't imagine how." "I didn't think vampires and humans could ever get along." "Our vampires are unlike any I've ever met," Esme said, helping set up temporary bedding for Renee between the two cots. "You'll have a cot tomorrow, I think Carlisle just went out to get one. He needed to get away before he loses his temper." "Does he lose it often?" Renee asked obviously worried "No," Esme said quietly, putting a blanket over the bedding. "He's been so stressed lately with personal affairs. Then having to see the full extent of the damage Bella received. He's quite fond of her. He thinks that she is fun and delightful." "When you say fond..." Renee asked, again worried. "Heavens no," Esme assured her, "she is dear to him like a child would be. You'll see, he is very kind and gentle." Renee sat down on the bedding and Esme went to her own. Gently, she brushed the hair from Bella's forehead and kissed it. "My brave little girl." Esme smiled and curled under her covers. Renee showed little sings of sleep. Vincent had kept his humans awake most of the day so she was used to only a few hours of rest. Even so, she couldn't take her eyes off of her child. When Bella turned away in her sleep she looked over at Alice who was awake. "Sleep mom, you're tired." Renee laid down and Alice reached for her hand. She took it and kissed it. "I missed you girls so much." "We missed you too," Alice assured her. "I can't believe that you are alive."

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Renee smiled and lifted her blanket as Alice crawled out of her cot and into her arms. She held her daughter gently and hummed softly until they both fell asleep. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 13, "Come here Edward! Come here!" Edward put one hand in front of him and started to move himself across the floor. "No, no, no," Carlisle said taking his hands. He was pulled to his feet. "No crawling." "Come here Edward!" Esme said reaching for him. Edward wobbled and looked up at Carlisle with a frown on his round face. "Go on buddy," Carlisle encouraged. "No!" "Come on! You can do it!" "Could you find it in you to be quiet?" Lord Cullen sighed from behind his paper. Edward looked over at him. Carlisle sighed and let Edward sink to his knees. The toddler crawled across the dark gold carpet and put one small hand on the polished black shoe. "Papa?" he asked, looking up at his father with wide and curious red eyes. He giggled and waved his hands. "Oh look, he wants you to hold him." "Hmph." Lord Cullen stood, stepped over his son, and left. Edward turned and crawled after him until he went up the stairs. Edward sat at the bottom of the stairs watching his father walk farther away from him. "Papa!" he called. "Papa up!" "Come on Edward, nap time," Esme said lifting him. Edward's face brightened as Esme carried him up the stairs. "Papa! Papa story?" If you didn't look like her Edward tilted his head as the voice in his head spoke in his father's voice. "Papa?"

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"Come on love," Esme cooed. Edward looked at her and his lip quivered. "I want papa," he said. "How can he just walk away like that?" Carlisle asked bitterly, "I mean we all lost someone we dearly loved. Why can't he man up and be a father?" "I'm sure he can hear you," Esme reminded him, shifting Edward to her other hip. "I hope he does! He's being selfish! You weren't the only one that loved her!" Carlisle called in the general direction of his father's room. "Carly," Edward whined. "Here, take him, I have to change the laundry." "Don't worry kid," Carlisle said, shifting his brother to his hip and ruffling his thin bronze hair. "I'll always be here to look after you. Even if our father is being a giant prick." "Carlisle you're grounding," Lord Cullen said from down the hall in the commanding tone he reserved for work. "Kiss my ass you old bastard! Ignore him Eddie, he just doesn't know what a gift you are. Mom knew, did you know that? Mom adored you and gave everything to save you." "Carly love mama?" "Very much," Carlisle said, putting Edward in his crib, "but don't worry. Even though she's gone, she'll always be with you. Esme and I will be with you too." "Always?" "Always and forever," Carlisle promised. He leaned down and kissed the top of Edward's head. Edward closed his eyes and sighed. "Jealousy has never been your thing, talk," Jasper said sitting next to him. "Look how happy she is." "Which one? Bella looks miserable." "Alice, but Bella looks better," Edward sighed, "I never thought I would be jealous of a human." "Oh give me a break," Jasper sighed, "it's a normal feeling. You're jealous because they have what you were willing to give anything for." "I guess I felt that it somehow brought us together...the fact that neither of us had a mother anymore. I don't know why it's bothering me now of all times. I was in Carlisle's memory." "You have to stop doing that," Jasper advised.

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"I have done absolutely everything I can think of to get father to love me," Edward said, "hell if he'd just like me." "He's a bitter old man," Jasper reminded him, "face it he died with her." "How was it my fault?" Edward asked. "How in hell was it my fault?! Why did she have to die then?" "She fought to save you, Edward you were her treasure. If he can't deal with that then that's his problem. What brought this on?" "A series of things," Edward sighed going away from the window and tearing his attention away from the small happy family tending the budding garden. "I was thinking about how Bella wouldn't have been hurt if I had just gone with her. If I had never dated Tanya. If I had never been." "Are you blaming you existing on her being violently raped by a vicious psychopathic vampire?" Jasper asked, raising his eyebrows so high they were in danger of disappearing into his hair. "Look at her! She's absolutely miserable!" "Clearly you don't understand the concept of violently raped." "I love her Jasper," Edward said in a pained voice, "I love her and I have to watch her suffer every day." "This isn't just about Bella is it?" Jasper asked quietly. Edward sighed and leaned against the wall, slipping his hands into his jeans pockets. "I don't know what is going on with me," he said in a soft mumble, "I miss mom. The only memory I have of direct interaction with her was just before she died. I'm a mess." "I hear you," Jasper agreed. "You are a mess. But do you think that things would have been easier otherwise?" "Yes!" "Why?" "Because Bella would be talking to me!" Edward said before he could think about what he was saying. Jasper smirked. "See, under that mess of problems we come to the root. You are a vampire, Edward, and right now that isn't something she wants to be around." "But I'm not like him! I'm not going to hurt her like he did." Jasper laughed and put his arm around Edward's shoulders. Edward frowned and glared at him, folding his arms across his chest. "You are so fun when you don't get what you want." "Do you like having your limbs?" "When her back is turned or she can't see it's you what do you think she'll imagine when she feels your hand on her shoulder? Or feels your breath on her? You and Vincent are different in personality and morality but

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you are both vampires. You both feel the same physically to her." "But I won't do..." "Okay I'll spell this out for you, what is your greatest fear?" Jasper asked. Edward thought for a moment. He had never given much to the idea of encountering his worst fear. "You and Carlisle dying I suppose." "Imagine for two days you were trapped in a small cold room with a vampire that was killing Carlisle and myself over and over again, laughing while you cried and reminding you that you were helpless and powerless to stop him. That's the kind of mental torment she is going through right now. You said yourself her greatest fear was being raped by a vampire and look what happened. She is going to be effed in the head for very long time and let's face it, you have a long life to wait." "I hate waiting," Edward sniffed. Jasper laughed and patted his back. "Well if you love her and if she's worth it you will wait." He was right and they both knew it though Edward wasn't going to grant him the satisfaction of admitting to it. --Spring had sprung and it was time for the annual ball held by the king. Everyone who was anyone was there and usually Edward and his siblings enjoyed it. This year they were miserable with the exception of Rosalie who was overflowing with excitement. She had come back to her childhood home to get ready. Lord Cullen had returned as well. He questioned the arrival of Renee and Carlisle explained that she was needed to pick up the slack dropped by the departure of another human. He played on the fact that his father rarely remembered how many humans were kept in his household and it worked. Bella made sure to stay as far away from the old vampire as possible. He scared her before but now she was terrified of him. She walked down the hall quietly, carrying Edward's formal clothing she turned into his room and found that Edward was in only his boxers. "Oh, thanks," he said, "what's wrong?" Bella flushed several shades of red and handed him his clothes. Edward smiled and kissed her cheek, frowning as she stiffened. "You look sweet when you blush." "Thank you," she mumbled. "Will you be okay here alone?" "I should be," Bella sighed, "I have mom and Alice and Esme." "True," Edward agreed. "Will you stay with me for a bit?" Bella sat down on the very edge of his bed. She sat as stiff as a cat would. Edward sighed and pulled on the black slacks and slipped into the white dress shirt. Bella came over and helped him with his black tie as he was useless when it came to that.

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"I miss you," he said quietly. He wrapped his arms very lightly around her waist and held her gently. She was stiff and unresponsive. She had been since a couple days after she was brought home. As if the reality of what had happened had sunk in and she was numb. "You know I won't hurt you." "You did once." Edward winced at her tone. She was remembering when Carlisle made him whip her instead of their father, a suggestion to save her from further pain. Or maybe she was remembering when he teased her about having sex with her while she was unconscious. "I'm sorry...that was uncalled for." "I miss the way we were," Edward said, "just before you were gone." Bella silently finished up his tie and handed him his jacket. "Do you feel anything for me?" he asked as she helped him slip into it. Her fingers slipped a bit on the lower buttons. "Esme told me to remind you to comb that hair of yours," Bella said. "Bella, please answer me." "I feel something," Bella said, "but I don't know what it is. It isn't loathing." "Is it good?" "Have a good evening, master Edward." She left and he was in shock. Carlisle and Emmett walked in and his jaw was still hanging open. They both folded their arms and looked at him strangely. Emmett walked out into the hall and returned with flowers that had been in a vase. He had almost slipped them into Edward's mouth when he snapped out of it. "Dude!" "Aw," Emmett sighed. "Well you were standing there with your jaw on the floor so I thought eh why not." "Not cool!" "Is there something you'd like to share with the class there Edward?" Carlisle asked. "No!" Carlisle raised his eyebrows but decided to let it slide. "Let's get going. Father is waiting for us and you know how he and Rosie get if they are fashionably late." "Oh please one has to know how to be fashionable to be fashionably late," Edward snorted. "I'll get you for that Edward," Rosalie promised as she walked by. "Why is it I could see more of her cleavage than I wanted to?" Carlisle asked looking at Emmett.

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"Because it's a work of art," Emmett sighed with glazed over eyes. Edward rolled his eyes while Carlisle looked mildly disturbed. "You know she's our sister right?" "Your hot ass sister." "Okay I'm leaving," Edward announced before walking out the door. Emmett laughed and followed with a mildly disturbed Carlisle behind. --"So Edward I hear you and Tanya broke up." Edward looked across the limousine at his father. The family had been careful to avoid mention of Tanya for Bella's sake. "It wasn't working out," Edward said in an icy tone. His father raised his eyebrows. "Oh? How did it fail?" "Differences in opinion." And she raped the girl I love Edward thought to himself as he clenched his fists. "I sense some anger." "Father look the trees are in bloom," Carlisle said loudly. "What did you do to mess it up Edward?" "Dated her in the first place." "I see." Edward looked out the window and sighed. Already he wished that the trip was over. Don't think about it, you'll just make yourself even more upset. Ignore him he's just a bitter old fool Edward appreciated the attempt to calm him down but it hardly worked. His mind was back on Tanya and the horrifying things he knew she did. Jasper had refused to let him see the video Vincent had made but he could see what little Jasper had seen. It got worse from there he was sure of it. It was going to be hard enough facing her at the ball without ripping her head off, he didn't need his father prepping him. They arrived shortly after. The family walked in and they were greeted by several family friends before going to greet the king. Edward didn't mind Aro as much. His thoughts were more or less entertaining. He watched as his father bowed before him and then gave the usual introductions to his family.

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"Ah yes, you recently had a baby did you not?" "Yes, your Majesty is kind to remember," Rosalie said with a bow of her head and a soft dip. "I love children, they are quite the delight." They laughed and exchanged pleasantries before going off into the ball. For the first waltz Emmett swept Rosalie into his arms and Lord Cullen partnered with Lady Dewitt, a lovely widowed vampire that Edward was pretty sure he was having an affair with. But then again she was about as crazy as the old man. "This party continues to be a snore," Jasper sighed to Edward. They got a momentary giggle when Carlisle was paired with his new fiance who couldn't seem to dance nearly as well. Stop laughing right now or I'll tell Bella that you used to sing Barbie Girl in the shower! Edward stopped laughing instantly and grew still. Jasper laughed harder and Carlisle glared at him. Jasper was soon taken by a lovely vampire named Maria and Edward was alone that is until Tanya came up to him. Dance with her or I'll throw that human of yours out. Edward saw his father's angry eyes from across the room and sighed. He took Tanya out just as a new dance began. "I miss you Eddie." "I hate you to my last breath," Edward assured her, "I'm only doing this under blackmail." "Oh come on don't lie and say you don't miss us," Tanya sighed, "the amazing sex for example." "The barely passable sex," Edward snorted. "You aren't as good as you think you are." Tanya glared at him. "You are the greatest yourself." "I don't care. If you'd like to stay in one piece you should just stop talking to me." "What's your problem?" Tanya demanded as Edward twirled her. "My problem? You told that sick bastard where to find Bella and not only that but you helped him hurt her." "What gave you that idea?" "She told me," Edward growled, "your scent was all over that place." "Oh so you got her back then?" "Don't you dare mock me," he snarled. "What you helped him do to her was unforgivable." Images flashed across her memory and Edward growled low. Images of Bella bruised and bloody between the two of them. "Stop it."

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"Get out of my head then." "Stop broadcasting your sick memories!" "She tried so hard not to cry," Tanya purred, "she blushed like a little slut too. I could hear her skin tear when Vincent shoved his dick into her ass. It was delightful." Edward pushed her away from him and turned on his heel. He left the dance floor, well aware of his family's eyes on him. She begged me to stop! That turned him on the most. He also loved it when I made her eat me out "SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU DISGUSTING WHORE!" Edward roared at her. A strange silence fell over the entire ball. "Oh way to get everyone's attention," Tanya muttered folding her arms. Edward heard whispers in his head and all around him. How could a gentleman speak to a lady like that? "How could you say that to me?" "With how many times you cheated on me with him, damn I'm lucky I didn't catch something from you." "I don't know what you're talking about," Tanya said, trying to keep up a face. "How could you do those things to her?" "She's a human." "As if that matters!" Edward cried, "human or not what you did was just disgusting and unforgivable. What you did with him was disgusting." Tanya folded her arms. If you don't shut up right now Edward Cullen I will march right over to your father and tell him just how you feel about your little human slut. Edward clenched his fists. "I never want to see you again." "Oh I know you do," Tanya murmured, "you have an attachment to women. Your a mama's boy with abandonment issues." Edward turned and left before he did something he would regret. Beautiful images of ripping her throat out danced in his mind. He ran into the garden and yelled into the night. He crouched down and bit his bottom lip. He heard footsteps behind him and stood just in time to be hit to the ground. He was grabbed by the upper arm and pulled into the woods. "You embarrassed me for the last time," his father hissed. He threw his son into the trunk of a thick oak, which groaned under the force of the impact. Edward briefly wondered if his father was going to kill him. Jasper was a master of hiding bodies and disguising crime scenes and he learned from their father. Lord Carlisle Cullen was a skilled assassin. But he wasn't going to die tonight. Not yet. "I will teach you obedience."

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Edward felt fists everywhere. They hurt more than he thought they would. His father was still incredibly powerful despite his age. The beatings continued for a long time. Edward had a feeling it wasn't just because of his outburst in public. His father had never beat him so hard before. This was for the death of his mother. Finally Lord Cullen stopped and Edward laid motionless on the ground. "I should have killed you the moment she died. You took everything from me." Edward wanted to say something. There was nothing to say. He remembered being a child and wondering why his father didn't care about him. For the longest time he had assumed that he was this way with all of his children. Then Anna was born. Lord Cullen held his granddaughter and showered her with love and praise. He was twelve and that was the day he learned that his father did love him. Now, at seventeen, he laid on the ground after being beaten by his father, still unloved by the only parent he had ever known. He crawled to his feet and headed off towards home. --"Where is he?" Carlisle demanded the moment he saw his father. "I don't know what you mean." "Horse shit," Carlisle growled, "you did something." "I taught him a lesson." "For what? Losing his temper at someone who provoked him? The temper, if I may remind you, he got from you." "There is no part of me in that boy." "You're right," Carlisle agreed, "because Edward would never beat the hell out of his son. He's all mom. What would she say if she saw you now? You'd disgust her that's for sure." "I didn't raise you to talk to me like that. I am your father." "A fact that I am growing more and more ashamed of," Carlisle growled. He turned away and walked out of the hall. He ran into the night, following Edward's scent. He could smell anger and venom in the air. He caught up to him a few miles away. He was sitting at the base of a tree with his head in his knees. His shoulders were shaking. Carlisle kept his mind soft and quiet and approached with light steps. Of course Edward noticed. "How was mom dying at all my fault? I'm sorry I was born." "When mom was pregnant with you she was so happy. She loved you so much Edward. He just doesn't understand that. All he can see is that he lost his wife." "Did he ever want me?" Edward asked, "even before I was born?" "You'd know better than I was. He knew she was weaker this time around. I can't imagine he didn't."

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"When she was pregnant with you he was so delighted. He was planning your life before you even had one." "Forget about him," Carlisle advised, "you'll be so much happier." "I can't be around Tanya. I saw things in her head...things she did to Bella. Even if I didn't feel the way I did towards her...Carlisle I can't imagine anyone doing something that horrible." "What did she say?" he asked. "She was just taunting me. I let her get to me that's all. I just want to go home." "Alright, let's go," Carlisle said helping him stand. --"What in the world did you do," Esme asked in her cold angry mother tone when Carlisle and Edward came in looking a little rough around the edges. "I ran into someone that I would much rather see dead and lost it." "Our loving father thought that because he was embarrassed by Edward he needed to beat him senseless." "Why did you tell them that?" Edward asked. "Why not?" Edward groaned and Esme went into mothering mode. She pulled Edward to the kitchen table and warmed some blood for him. She began checking him over for injuries and fussing over him. "Oh, you're back," Bella said in her now usual soft voice, as she walked in. "How was the ball?" "Eventful," Carlisle said, "how are you feeling." "Fine I suppose." Edward stood and walked out. Bella watched him confused. "Have I don't something wrong?" "No, he just had a rough night," Carlisle assured her. "Why don't you take this up to him." Bella took the bowl of blood and nodded. She walked up the stairs and knocked softly on his door. "I'm not hungry." "Esme gave me orders to make sure you drink." Edward sighed and let her in. Bella put the bowl down on his desk and looked at him. "If I have offended you..." "It's not you," Edward sighed, "it's someone else." "Tanya?" Bella asked. Edward winced. "You don't have to censor yourself to protect me."

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"I ran into her yes, and I had to dance with her and she showed me things...scary things...anyway I yelled at her and my father said I embarrassed him." "I'm sorry," Bella said looking down at her hands. "I chose to defend you, Bella, don't apologize." "I am sorry though." "Don't you find it strange?" Edward asked, sitting on his bed, "I mean how far we've come since I brought you here." "I don't know what you mean." "You have to admit if you knew I got my ass handed to me by my own father in the first weeks, hell months, you were here you would think it was funny." "I suppose, yes," Bella agreed. "I would have been more confused than anything although I would have been proved right in my suspicions. I would have gladly taken that proof over the one I got." "What was that?" Edward asked. "That vampires are essentially a violent and a destructive race." Edward frowned, about to say that they weren't but then he remembered the experiences she had. Vampires had ripped her from her home, killed her father, raped her mother, abused her and her sister, sold them, whipped her and all of it ending up in her own violent sexual assault by two vampires. He held his hand out to her and she came to him hesitantly. "I wish you could see the good in us." "I see the good in you and your brothers," Bella said quietly. "I wish you would open yourself up to me," Edward said, "we were so close and then you closed up." "I may as well," Bella said, letting him pull her into him. She was hesitant but she didn't pull away. Edward touched her hair and her face. "You are afraid of me," he observed finally. "You're so tense." "I'm not afraid of you," she said. "I'm sorry I'm tense." "Why though?" he asked. "You know I won't hurt you? If you care about me like I care about you you would trust that." "I don't know if I care about you," Bella said, "I don't know what I feel about you." "Then why...?" "You'll order me to anyway so I may as well just go along with it."

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Edward pulled away from her. "You think I'm going to order you to lay there and let me have my way with you?" Bella shrugged. "I promised you that I would never do that. I will keep that promise." "Okay." "You don't believe me?" "Not really." Edward dropped his head and sighed. He leaned over and kissed her forehead. "Bella, if you knew just what you do to me." Bella stiffened. Damn girl if you only knew what you did to me. Hell I can just show you. See this? Feel how hard it is? It gets like that when I think about your red cheeks and how you bleed. Edward stiffened as well. He looked at her warily, wondering what in the world he had done to get such a reaction. "I will earn your love," Edward promised her, "I have never felt like this before. I have never loved anyone like I love you." "You don't know me," Bella whispered, "how can you even love me?" He didn't answer. It was a fair question. He didn't know what it was about his human that made him adore her. "May I hug you?" he asked. Bella nodded. He cradled her body gently against his. He stroked her hair gently and kissed the top of her head. She felt good in his arms. She felt warm and soft. Her arms went around him and he smiled. "You're beautiful. You fit perfectly in my arms." "You're corny," she sighed. Edward laughed and kissed the top of her head again. "I missed your quick tongue. Will you stay with me tonight? I'm tired so I'll be asleep...but just once I'd like to sleep beside you." "As you wish," Bella mumbled. "If you aren't comfortable you can say no." Bella sighed into his chest. "I want to make you happy. I don't know why but I do." Edward set her gently on the bed and laid beside her. He brought his quilts over her and remained on top of them. Bella rolled onto her side and looked at him. She didn't shy away when he touched her cheek with his fingertips. "What is it about you that draws me in?" Edward asked after a long silence.

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"My sense of fashion and intellect perhaps?" Edward laughed and she smiled. She found herself poking one hand out from the covers. His laugh made her heart rush as it had before. Realistically she knew that he wasn't going to do anything that she didn't want him to, and if he did one scream would bring his brothers in to her rescue. But how could she even trust that? How could she trust herself in his hands. Edward slowly reached for her hand. When she didn't pull it away he curled his fingers around hers. Her hand was warm. His fingers were like ice. "See, this isn't so bad," he whispered. Her eyes should be taken out. Edward decided that. They were much too powerful for her to handle. The deep brown looked up into his, wide and afraid but trying to trust, all under thick beautiful lashes. Her eyes melted him. They showed him a hundred nightmares and a million delights. They showed him pain he had never known and love he could never experience. He could see the child in her that she had been in the memories of her sister and the woman she was trying to be. Everything she was and would be was right there in those eyes. Her lips were lovely too. They were parted every so slightly so she might possibly suck in more breath as his fingers squeezed hers gently. Her heart skipped a beat. She felt the same for him even if she wasn't going to admit it. Edward leaned over. He wanted to kiss her even if it was just on the forehead. But she pulled back and he stopped. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "That was rude of me." "I'll probably wake you," Bella mumbled, "I have nightmares a lot. Alice said that I keep her awake sometimes. Jessica said that I'm annoying." "Jessica is a silly twit and Alice worries over you. Both she and Renee do. Trust me, I can hear them late at night. They both want the pain to go away, as I do." "I don't know how mom survived all these years," Bella admitted, "days are a challenge. I hear his voice in my head. I see him in the shadows sometimes at night even though I know it's a trick." "Your mother is a strong woman," Edward murmured, "as you are." Bella closed her eyes. "Would you like me to sing to you? I'd sing all night if it would keep the nightmares away." Bella shook her head but he sang a soft lullaby to her anyway. She fell asleep and Edward kept watching her. He hummed a soft lullaby as he stroked her hair lightly. As she fell deeper into sleep her heart began to calm and she looked to be in peace. When he woke up again it was around midnight. He was awoken by something warm, startled he opened his eyes and remembered she was in the bed with him. Not only was she in bed with him, but she was curled against his chest. Her hand was balled around his shirt and her forehead was against him. But she was in a deep peaceful sleep. When he woke again at dawn she was still asleep against his chest and his arm was around her. In the month and a half since her violent ordeal she was asleep and at peace. TBC

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DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers. So I realized that I love flashbacks. Dunno why...just do. Chapter 14, Esme had never been in love before. At least never to where it was returned. She had loved Carlisle for a long time, since she was eighteen. It seemed like ages ago that she realized that for the first time. She could remember it so had been sitting in his room tapping his pencil on his book. College exams always got him down but he was brilliant and would pass without a problem. His hair reflected the sunlight perfectly and he looked over at her. He smiled his beautiful smile. He had asked her what she wanted and she lied saying that Edward needed his attention. Raising the youngest Cullen had fallen to the two of them. Carlisle had dutifully gotten up and went to his youngest brother's room where the toddler was sitting on the floor playing with toys. It would be a lie if Esme said she didn't miss those days. Edward had been a sweet little boy with his bratty moments. But raising him had made her feel like part of a family, like she and Carlisle were a young couple with their own baby. It had been no surprise when Edward called her mama and him dada. To him they were. But the best day of her life was when Carlisle not only told her he loved her but showed her. Carlisle Cullen was a calm and reserved vampire doctor of considerable standing, but in the bedroom he was wiled and untamed, primal and unbelievably sexy. He made her feel things that she knew had to be illegal. On the rare nights when they had the house completely to themselves, he would whisk her away and bring her to such a powerful orgasm that she was sure she'd wake the entire kingdom and he would be right there with her, crying out as waves of pleasure crashed between them. Afterwards he would ride out the aftershock and collapse on her. He would kiss her lips and hold her tight then whisper how much he adored her. That would never happen again. He was getting married today. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful summers day. She had everything in the world to be thankful for. Lord Cullen was staying only for the wedding before heading off to business again, Edward was in control of his rage enough to be around Tanya without screaming at her and best of all, Bella was smiling again. Or at least making an effort to. But Esme was crying. She sat alone in the servants quarters, weeping on her cot. Everyone was preparing for the big day except her. Bella had silently agreed to take on her share of the preparations. Esme sniffed and raised her head to rub her eyes with the heel of her palm. She coughed and sobbed again but before she could get well into another wave of tears, something hard grabbed her and pushed her against something harder. Lips pushed against hers and a cool and strong tongue dominated her mouth. The familiar taste of the only man she had ever loved filled her and his familiar body pushed against hers. "I love you Esme, I love you more than I will ever love any other woman." "Carlisle...I..." Carlisle didn't seem to be interested in talking, a fact he made clear when he cut her off with a rough kiss. He would get like that sometimes and Esme was used to it after years of his company. He was too emotional for words. She heard him fumble between them. He grabbed her leg and hitched her knee around his hip. He kissed along her neck and pushed the fabric from her shoulder. He sucked on her skin as he shifted. Esme wrapped her arms around his neck and slipped one hand into his soft gold hair. He was in her. Esme gasped at the friction. She hadn't been the most prepared but he was still careful not to hurt her. She adjusted in no time.

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After a few thrusts she was wet enough. He guided her other leg around his waist and held her. He pumped in and out of her with all of his strength. "Bite me Carlisle...please..." He was planning on it anyway but it was sexy to hear her ask. He had grown addicted to the taste of her blood. His teeth sank into her shoulder as to avoid suspicious visible marks on her neck as he reached his climax and that was enough to pull her over with him. He grabbed her bottom tight in his hands and rode their orgasms out before pressing against her in temporary exhaustion. Once her feet were secure on the ground, Esme touched his cheek and kissed him softly. "Promise you'll think of me," she whispered. "My love I always think of you," he whispered, rubbing her cheek with the back of his fingers. She hugged him around the neck and he nuzzled into hers. "My beautiful Esme." "I'm afraid of being without you," she admitted. "How long will you and your..." "Until the new place is finished," Carlisle sighed, "I want to take you with me but I know how hard it is for you to be away from Edward and Bella. Especially Bella." "She's been making so much progress," Esme said quietly, "she laughed today. You should have heard her! It was like a musical chime!" "She's growing stronger each day," Carlisle agreed, "I'm going to try to convince her to live here instead. I can't be away. Not when Bella's mental condition is so unstable." They both hated that they were using Bella as a feeble excuse. Carlisle kissed her neck suddenly and Esme smiled, briefly wondering if this meant a second round. Aside from the fact that this wedding symbolized the end of her happy life, there was something sexy about the situation they were in now. A forbidden romance is all they had ever known, but this was a forbidden affair. Carlisle was taken now, or at least he would be in a few hours. He was going to have to have sex with his new wife. His duty as her husband was to help her conceive a child. Carlisle guessed her thoughts as he kissed up her stomach as he raise her dress. "I'll think of you," he murmured against her skin, "and I will always be yours." Her tongue was lead in her mouth. His gentle hand caressed her breast while his tongue teased the other. "Carlisle...mmm..." He came up and took her again. Esme hugged herself against his body and kissed his lips hungrily. Esme grabbed his shoulders and pushed him back onto her cot. Carlisle grinned and she came to sit on him. She lowered herself onto him and leaned down to kiss him. Carlisle rubbed her hips while he kept a smooth and sensual pace. He was deeper in her than he had ever been before and he couldn't fully enjoy it. As her soft lips caressed his he couldn't feel the usual joy. This was the last time he would have her like this. Where he would belong to only her. ---

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Bella was sitting with Esme, Edward and Jasper at the reception. Bella looked down and smiled when Anna crawled up into her lap. Even though she was a little brat, Bella was actually growing quite fond of the little girl. "Daddy's new wife is a bitch." "You said it," Jasper and Bella sighed. "Anna who taught you that?!" Edward cried. Just then Emmett fell into the empty chair. "Damn that woman is a bitch." "Hey Em glad you could join us," Edward sighed, "remember what Carlisle said about teaching his daughter how to swear?" "I remember Carlisle saying something," Emmett said with a shrug. "C'mere baby angel," he said. Anna giggled and crawled across Edward into Emmett's lap. Emmett smiled at his niece and patted her golden head. "Give Uncle Emmett a big kiss!" Anna stood on his lap and gave him a big wet kiss on his cheek. Emmett laughed and hugged her. "So Anna did you get any big news lately?" Emmett asked, bouncing her gently. "Uh huh, the king has reversed the order that I have to live with mom. I get to live with daddy all year round! We can play every day Esme!" Esme forced a smile for the child and opened her arms when the little girl jumped into her lap. She hugged her around the neck and smiled. "I love you Esme," she said with a smile. "You are going to be like my mommy now okay." "Alright princess, whatever you wish," Esme murmured, smoothing her curls. "If it isn't too much to ask, might I have the pleasure of a dance with my little girl?" Carlisle asked, walking up to the small group. "Oh way to take her away Carlisle," Emmett whined. Anna giggled, gave Emmett one more kiss and a big hug, and jumped into Carlisle's arms. "Oh and by the way Emmett don't think I didn't hear you teaching her bad words," Carlisle scolded, "you know how I hate that." "Yeah, yeah, great story pops, I'm going to go see what Rosie is up to. And incidentally, your new wife is a bitch." "Daddy what's a bitch?" "Never you mind sweetie," Carlisle said walking off with Anna sitting on his hip. --Edward left the ballroom and went up the stairs to find Bella taking a breather. She was fanning herself and her hair was pulled back. He sat next to her and put his hand against her forehead.

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"Better?" he asked. "Do you think he'll be okay?" Bella asked. "Who? Carlisle? Oh he'll be miserable." "Was I the only one who noticed the camel toe her mom had going in that outfit of hers?" Bella asked. Edward laughed and nodded, "oh my god it's like come on grandma get some pants that fit!" Bella laughed too. Edward brushed against her shoulder and she looked down at her hands. He could hear the soft music from the ballroom and he looked over at her. "Dance with me?" he asked. Bella looked at him. "Seriously?" "Oh why not," he sighed standing. He reached for her hand and she took it. He pulled her to her feet. "I'm too clumsy to dance," she mumbled. Edward smiled and pulled her to him. "It's all about leading," he said, "now put your hand on my shoulder." Bella obeyed and set her hand nervously on his shoulder. He held her hand lightly with his own. She took a quick surprised breath when Edward's hand rested on her waist. "Too much?" He asked quietly. Bella hesitated and he moved his hand up to the bottom of her ribs. "Better?" "I guess so," she mumbled. He led her in a slow and gentle waltz. Bella felt a small blush creep across her cheeks. She kept her head down and focused on his collarbone. When he took it just a bit faster she tried to keep from counting out loud. Her foot caught his and she stumbled. Edward chuckled and steadied her. "Maybe a waltz is out of your coordination level," he teased lightly. Bella blushed and nodded. "Something slower?" She looked up at him. Her voice was gone. His eyes were intense and holding hers just a little longer that she should like. His hand lowered and he drew her near. He moved every so slightly and she followed. Bella could hear the song and it seemed to be too fast to what they were dancing. She could only hear the beat but she was sure Edward could hear the full song. His face had darkened a little. His eyes looked sad. The lyrics seemed to be upsetting him a bit. Bella didn't know what he was listening to but she felt sadness herself at the look at him. They drew closer still while they looked into the others eyes. Bella felt her hand slip from his shoulder and move towards his neck. Her elbow was resting against his upper arm. She could feel his chest brush against hers. Edward felt breathless. He could feel her against him. The soft peaks of her chest brushed him as she moved. Her breath was so soft and warm. Her heart was racing. He could hear the blood in her veins. "Please tell me what you're thinking," he whispered. "I have to know."

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"I'm thinking..." she didn't finish. What was she thinking? About his beautiful eyes? How they were like the softest of roses? How his entire being looked like something hand crafted by angels? What about how he was a vampire, the same as the man that killed her father and used her as his own sex toy? "I don't know what to think," she mumbled. She pulled away from him and he didn't like it. She tried to go around him to leave the side room and return to the ballroom. "No, Bella, answer me. What's wrong?" "You're a vampire, Edward," she blurted, "vampires killed my father and sold me into slavery. Vampires have beaten me, humiliated me and raped me until I couldn't I near fainted from the pain." "I'm not like them." "How can I trust that?" Bella asked. "How can I trust you?" "I love you," Edward said. He looked into her eyes and forced himself to keep them. He wanted to look away as she began to cry. Her eyes shouldn't be so beautiful stained with tears. "What is wrong with you?!" Bella cried, "you shouldn't love me!" "Whether or not I should isn't relevant," Edward snapped, "do you think I want to feel this way about you?! Jesus Bella you are so frustrating! Do you think I wanted to fall in love with someone as headstrong as you? Do you think I wanted to fall in love with a human?!" "So don't be in love with me!" "Oh why didn't I think of that?!" Edward cried throwing his hands up. "Wow I am such a dumbass! Of course! I just won't be in love with you!" "You can keep your sarcasm." "Do you think I am choosing this? To care so much about someone who will probably never return my feelings? Someone that I can't be with? I wish I didn't care about you. I wish I could care less when you wake up screaming, or when you cry. But I don't. Every night I hear your restless sleep and know that if I had only protected you there wouldn't be nightmares. I am in constant pain because I love you so much and you are never going to feel the same way." "Then let me go," Bella sobbed, "I don't want to hurt you." "You don't want to get hurt," Edward corrected in a cold tone. He left angrily and went up to his room. He laid on his bed and closed his eyes. He had never wanted to sleep so badly in his life. He wanted to close his eyes and sleep until his pain was gone. He loved her so much but she was never going to return his feelings. "I had a feeling you may need someone to talk to." Edward opened his eyes and saw Carlisle. He closed his eyes again and felt Carlisle sit on his bed. "I'm in over my head," Edward sighed, rolling onto his side. He sat up and Carlisle put a gentle arm around him. "I am crazy about that girl."

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"You have to look at it from her point of view." "Her point of view changes like Tanya changes shoes!" "Can you blame her?! Look at it from another way. How would you feel if you were developing feelings for your master? Especially if you're someone as strong willed as she is, who hates vampires like she does. She loves you too. She's just afraid and confused." "She thinks I'm not?! All my life I have been hearing about how we are the superior race, and how humans are nothing but uncivilized creatures to be dominated and controlled for their own good. Now here I am deeply in love with one! I'm starting to wonder if they are the civilized ones. The things that we've done to her..." "She loves you, Edward, take comfort in that. Give her time." "I don't want to give her time! I want her to love me like I love her! I want things to be simple again!" "You think her returning your feelings will make things simple?!" Carlisle cried. "They won't make things simple!" "You and Esme..." Edward murmured. "Why is it Jasper has good luck with love? Jasper for crying out loud!" They shared a laugh for a moment. --"Does she really love him?" Alice asked. Jasper laid back on his bed and sighed. "Yes and no," he answered finally, "I think she does, but she is so confused." "I can't imagine what she is going through," Alice sighed, "to have that happen to her...I can't even begin to..." She cut off when Jasper suddenly hugged her. He nuzzled into her chest and sighed. Alice smiled and smoothed his long gold hair with one gentle hand. "It hurts...everyone is in so much pain." "What do you mean?" Alice asked. "Bella and Edward are so confused. Carlisle and Esme...their pain is so strong." "Let me take it away," Alice whispered, holding him tight. His arms wrapped around her waist. "Can you feel how much I love you?" "I can," Jasper whispered against her, he smiled. "I can also feel how...soft...you are." "Jasper Cullen you are quite the pervert," Alice teased. Jasper pushed her gently back and laid beside her. When he was in physical contact with someone their emotion was the most powerful. He could feel everything that crossed her mind.

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"I've never been in love before," she whispered. Jasper smiled. "Me neither," he admitted. He came up and kissed her. Alice blushed and kissed him back. She slipped one shaking hand into his hair and the other caressed his cheek. She moved slightly and felt his arm around her waist. She had wanted him for a long time and only just found a way to communicate that around her incredible shy nature. "Oh sweet lord Alice," Jasper moaned. He could feel her arousal in more ways than one. Not only did he feel her passionate emotions but he felt the heat between her legs. He lifted his head and looked into her eyes. "What do you want me to do?" he asked. Her lip slipped between her teeth and he near lost it right there. "Well...I...um..." He loved how shy she was sometimes. "Do you want me to have sex with you?" he asked. "Y-yes...very...very much." "Your wish is my command," he whispered. Alice gasped when he rubbed his hips against hers. She could feel his arousal against her. "You are...all....already...ready?" she asked. "Give me a minute beautiful," he said with a laugh, "I've only just woken up." "It....it'll get bigger?!" Jasper threw his head back and laughed. He came back down and kissed her neck. "Yes, love, it will." "Oh." "Are you nervous?" Alice nodded. He moved off of her. "How about this then. I will do my thing to the best of my ability and you will tell me if you want me to stop. Then I will pout and try to persuade you otherwise and then if you are still afraid we'll stop completely." "I probably won't be as good as the other girls..." "Sweetheart, there has never been another girl. I'm a virgin." He smiled at her and kissed her cheek. Alice gasped when he slipped his hand gently across her stomach and began to slowly undress her. "But I have studied...I'm a nerd like that." "Emmett mentioned something about you and the internet," Alice teased. "Emmett mentions a lot about a lot of things," Jasper grumbled. He pulled her clothes up to expose her stomach. He pulled her carefully up and removed her clothing. He looked over her body. She was so much more beautiful than he imagined. They were on their knees now. He held onto her small hips and looked at her body. He took off her bra and smiled at her cute blush. He brushed his hands over her breasts and kissed her lips lightly. Alice felt amazing in that moment. The look of wonder and amazement in Jasper's eyes was enough to spike her confidence. She felt like she was the most beautiful woman in the world. His hands were so cold but so

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wonderful on her bare skin. "You are so beautiful," he whispered as he kissed along her jaw, "Alice your body is perfect." "Really?" "Your skin is like the softest cream," he murmured, "your breasts fit perfectly in my hands. Your nipples are like soft roses." "I'm not nearly as pretty as Bella," Alice mumbled. Jasper kissed her lips. "I don't find Bella attractive," he admitted, "I love my little pixie." "Can I see you naked?" Alice asked. Jasper grinned. He unbuttoned his shirt and shrugged out of it. Alice slipped her fingers along the hem of his undershirt and pulled it slowly off, mimicking the way he undressed her. She took a moment to marvel at the perfect planes of his torso. He was built like a warrior would be, like she imagined he would be after he told her about the history of his class. Jasper took her hand and touched it to his chest. His skin was warmer there than in his fingertips. "What little blood I consume warms me," he said, "I'm even warmer when its yours." "You're perfect," she murmured, "everything about you is perfect." Alice fumbled with his belt and the button on his slacks. Jasper chuckled when she seemed to have some difficulty but finally he was naked. He was completely naked and Alice was stunned into silence. What she was looking at was definitely bigger than it was the last time she had brushed against it. "Alice?" "It's so...um...in-intimidating." Jasper smiled and kissed her cheek. "Touch me," he whispered. Alice knew what meant but she was still nervous. Her shaking hand slowly made it's way down. Jasper gasped when she touched him. Her small fingers curled around his length and he groaned. "You look happy." "Alice you have no idea what you do to me," he moaned. "How do you feel love?" "Hot," she mumbled. Jasper laid her down and smiled. "Where do you feel hot?" "Between my legs. I feel...empty..." "Do you want me to try entering you?" Jasper asked. Alice bit her lip. "Will it hurt?" "Probably a little," he admitted, "but I will be careful with you."

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Jasper felt nervous. He was actually nervous. The only person who knew that he was a virgin was Edward and only because keeping a secret from Edward required more work than it was worth. But he heard from his brothers and Emmett that sex was a breeze. Just enter, hump a few times and call it good. "Is something wrong?" Alice asked. Jasper smiled and kissed her. "Tell me if you need me to stop, promise?" Alice nodded. "I'm just a little nervous." "Me too love." With one deep breath Jasper cleared his thoughts. He slowly pushed into her. Alice gasped and he stopped. "Did I hurt you?" "I'm too tight for you," she mumbled, "it feels different." "You feel amazing." Alice relaxed and let him slip completely into her. It was an amazing feeling. She was as close as she could possibly be to him. After she met his eyes and gave him a silent okay he began to move. That was a strange feeling itself. She had heard about sex from other girls. She had asked Esme about it and she said that it was delightful. Delightful was an understatement. Jasper held her eyes while he moved. He came down and kissed her lips. Her breath grew thinner and thinner and she felt like her body was on fire. It was harder to catch her breath but she didn't care. "Am I hurting you?" Jasper asked. "No, no, it feels so good." "I love you Alice, I love you with all of my heart." "What a sweet sentiment." Jasper stopped immediately and they both looked over. Jasper held Alice tight against his chest as he looked into the angry eyes of his father. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! Chapter 15, Bella and the other humans were working on cleaning up the ballroom. Carlisle was still there and he and Edward were supposed to be supervising. "Oh my god she's going to want to have sex," Carlisle moaned, "Edward read her mind and tell me what she's

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planning?!" "Eew no!" "Please! You are my brother! We're family! Family helps each other out!" "Carlisle you are indeed my brother. But that woman has a nasty mind that I want to stay far away from!" "Oh god what does she want me to do?!" Carlisle moaned, "Oh god she wants me to role play. She's going to make me dress up like a pirate! I don't want to be a pirate!" Everyone was looking at him with raised eyebrows. "Just think," Bella said breaking the silence, "you two share the same genes." "Oh sweet lord I'm going to turn into this," Edward cried. "I don't want to have sex with...um...scale of one to ten how bad is it that I can't remember her name?" "I'd say that's about a ten bro," Edward laughed. "I want to say her name is Jean." "That sounds close," Carlisle agreed. "Wait...do you hear something?" Edward paused and then jumped to his feet. "Jasper's in deep shit!" --"Father..." "I would rather you have been gay," Lord Cullen growled, "than to be in love with a human." Jasper stood and guarded Alice. He looked at his father with a furious protective fire in his eyes. "Stand aside," Lord Cullen ordered. "I won't," Jasper growled, "I love her. I love her like you loved your Lady." Lord Cullen's eyes flashed. He crossed the room and slapped Jasper hard across the jaw. "You will never disrespect my wife like that! Do you hear me? My Caroline was a good woman, miles above this human whore." "Alice is not a whore," Jasper defended. "Father what is going on?" Carlisle asked as they approached. Lord Cullen turned to look at the new arrivals. His two sons and their humans. "Your brother is being punished now leave." "What are you going to do to him?" Edward asked. "I won't do anything to him," Lord Cullen said in a quiet voice. Jasper snarled and crouched before Alice in a

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defensive stance. "Don't toy with me boy," he warned in the same growl, "I am stronger than you could ever hope to be. While I may have adopted you my strength does not run through your body." "Then you'll kill me," Jasper snapped, "because I will die to protect her." "Die to protect a human whore? I won't waste such talent. You have the potential to be something great, Jasper, and I will not throw it away." "If you come anywhere near her you will be," Jasper warned, "I will not let you have her." "Father please, you're tired and you need sleep," Carlisle insisted. "Silence. You boys may want to witness this after all. Consider it a lesson." Bella clutched Edward's arm as Lord Cullen rushed his adopted son. She saw pale green liquid dripping from their mouths. Their bodies crashed like thunder and Jasper managed to push Alice away. "STOP!" Carlisle bellowed. His eyes fixed on Alice and he jerked his head, indicating that she was to run to them immediately. She did and was barely missed when Jasper went flying, stopping her in her tracks. Lord Cullen smoothed his golden hair back and walked up to the younger vampire. He grabbed him by the hair and lifted him. "Let this be a warning to you. Cross me once more and you will wake up in the hospital." Bella could have sworn she saw Lord Cullen's teeth extend and shift into fangs but she dismissed it as a trick of her imagination. "FATHER DON'T!" Edward yelled. He ran from them and grabbed onto Lord Cullen's arm. In one quick gesture Edward was being held by his neck and Lord Cullen looked livid. "I am your father and you will obey me. You try my patience Edward but I will not hurt you this time. Get out of my sight." He threw Edward back into Carlisle and turned back to Jasper. "As for you, I will teach you obedience with force." Jasper cried out as Lord Cullen's teeth sank deep into his neck and venom was released. He pulled back after a second and Jasper fell. His eyes were open and his face was contorted in pain. "Carlisle pick him up." Carlisle did. He knelt down and picked up his paralyzed brother. Lord Cullen looked angrily at them. His sons looked angrily back. Carlisle held Jasper protectively against his chest. Jasper's weak eyes kept on his father. He was completely immobilized. He may as well have been a corpse. Lord Cullen smoothed his hair back again and fixed his suit. He summoned Bella with one hand and looked towards a small trash can. She held it up and he spit the leftover venom in it. "Let this be a lesson to any of you that believe that I will not punish you for your crimes. You may be my sons but I will be obeyed and honored. Do you understand?" "Yes, sir," the two boys said defeated. He looked at Bella who bowed her head. "And you," he growled, he didn't say anything further. Bella kept her eyes fixed on the small trash can in her

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hands and tried desperately to keep from shaking. "NO!" Edward screamed just a split second before Lord Cullen's hand shot out. Bella felt something hot on her face just before she saw something red in the bin. There was a loud thump and Lord Cullen walked away. The bin slipped from her fingers and she didn't look up. She heard a blood curdling scream and only moments later did she realize that it was her own. --"How are they?" Edward asked. "Jasper will be getting some feeling back any time now." "Did he..." "Yes," Carlisle answered his head bowed. "Bella?" "Hasn't moved an inch since she fainted," Carlisle sighed sadly looking over to where Bella sat. Edward wanted to run to her, trap her in his arms and hold her until she didn't hurt anymore but he had to be rational. She sat in a single wooden chair beside the window in Carlisle's room. Esme was sitting on his desk, chewing her fingernail. Renee was sitting against the wall in about the same state as her daughter. "Will they be okay?" Edward asked. "Oh yes," Carlisle sighed, "medically anyway. They're in shock right now." "Alice?" "Hard to say," Carlisle said sadly. "She's not well right now." "Do you think she will be?" Edward asked. "Who can say," Carlisle said with a shrug, "she's stable at least. I had to work on her, clean up. Will father...?" "It's far worse of a punishment for him to deal with..." "Will you stop pretending like she isn't here!" Bella snapped suddenly. "Both of you are so insensitive!" Bella stood and ran to the servants quarters where Alice was resting. They didn't dare give Lord Cullen another reason to show his anger. Bella walked in and Alice was motionless. She laid on her cot with her blanket around her. Her hands were folded lightly on her stomach and she was looking up. At least she would have been if her face wasn't wrapped in bandages. There was pearly gauze over her eyes going around her cheeks and under her jaw, leaving her mouth and nose free. Quietly, Bella knelt beside her. "Alice? Are you awake?" No response. Bella gently held her hand. It was warm. She could feel her pulse. Bella let her tears fall and she rubbed one eye. In that moment Bella hated the vampires so much. What had her sister done besides love? Her sweet and innocent sister. Alice had never given any of her masters a reason to be angry with her. In fact she

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was obedient and gentle. But yet here she was asleep and most certainly in pain. "Bella? Is that you?" "I'm here," Bella sobbed, "Alice I'm right here. Do you feel pain?" "Yes," she whispered. "Is mom here?" "She's upstairs," Bella mumbled, "Carlisle said you shouldn't have visitors but I ran off. You know me." "Jasper?" "He's still paralyzed." "Is he hurt?" "Not physically I don't think. I mean I don't know what all happened." "Just venom," Alice said, "he told me that the vampires in his class can do it." "That doesn't make any sense but whatever," Bella sighed, "but he's going to be fine...I think." Alice squeezed Bella's hand and her lips drew into a deep frown. Bella realized that she was crying. "What is it hon? Do you hurt?" "He must hate me," Alice sobbed putting one hand to her forehead. "I wanted to...I pushed him into having sex. If he's hurt...oh Bells I don't know what I'll do!" "How can you love him?" Bella blurted. Alice turned her head to look at her. It was odd as all Bella could see was her nose and mouth. "I just do," she said flatly, "I don't have to explain myself." "Don't get defensive!" "You started it with that tone of yours! Just because you hate every single one of them doesn't mean I have to. I happen to think that our masters are wonderful except for their father and sister. So what if I'm in love with him? Don't judge me Bella." "I'm not judging you I'm just asking!" Bella cried. Alice pulled her hand away and folded her arms. "Yes you are, I know you too well. We don't all have to think like you do!" "Alice I love you and I'm just worried! I mean look at you! This wouldn't have happened if..." "Stop right there! I don't want to talk to you anymore! Go away!" Bella scowled at her sister. "Don't give me that look. I know when you're giving me a look! Just because you can't trust them doesn't mean

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I can't." "How can I?!" Bella cried, "have you forgotten just what they've done to us?!" "And tell me just how many of those things that happened to you were caused by our masters. In fact how many times they helped us? Don't make me feel guilty about loving Jasper because I won't do it. So what if he's a vampire? What does that mean anyway?! He understand everything about me and when I'm with him I feel complete. I feel like mom did with dad." "Dad was human!" "I'm too weak to storm off so could you kindly do that for me? You're better at it anyway," Alice huffed, folding her arms and turning away from her sister. Bella scowled and turned on her heel. To spite her she walked slowly and carefully out of the room. "Oh, Bella, there you are," Renee gasped as Bella came into the hall, "how is she?" "Oh she's fine. STUBBORN AS ALWAYS!" Bella yelled back. "BITE ME!" "Oh girls," Renee groaned, "Bella what did you do?" "I didn't do anything!" Bella cried throwing her hands up. Renee raised on eyebrow. "Sweetie we both know that of the two of you you are the most confrontational." "Oh that is such crap!" Bella huffed knowing full well it was in fact true. Of the two of them she was definitely the hot head. "I know you must be upset about her relationship with Jasper as well as her injuries..." "Which he caused." "Isabella stop that," Renee scolded, "you saw the way that boy tried to defend her. I share your feelings towards vampires honey, believe me, I have dealt with their cruelty all my life but they are different. Those brothers are different. They genuinely care about you two." Bella folded her arms and looked at her mother with hard eyes. She seemed like she wanted to say something but she didn't. She grumbled and walked by her angrily. Renee sighed and watched her daughter go. She chewed on her thumb nail. It was quite a situation. Her adopted daughter was laying with her face torn up in the other room. She was in love with a vampire, and not just any vampire, the son of a very powerful politician. She had heard about Lord Cullen many years ago and then again recently. He was rumored to be one of the most vicious politician in the kingdom. It was surprising that his sons were so gentle. But she could remember her younger years, about the same age as her daughter, crawling back to her scrap of cloth that was to be a bed bleeding and broken. She remembered curling up with Lorraine, the mother figure of the humans there trying not to cry. She remembered meeting Charlie. Her heart fluttered at the thought of her husband. But her hatred towards the vampires flared. They killed him and took her children. She felt sad at the thought of her husband.

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The rain was coming down hard. Renee looked up and shivered. She wore nothing but a small scrap of clothing around her waist. She hugged her arms in attempt to retain some warmth. She heard a howl in the distance and ran faster. There was a small shack nearby. She breathed a sigh of relief and ran in. It was still cold but at least it was dry. There was a small fire burning in the corner in a small makeshift fire pit. "Whose there?" Renee screamed and jumped. She saw someone in the shadows. She backed up against the wall and covered her bare chest with her arms. He stepped out into the light. His face was mangled and he had only one eye. But he was human. Renee felt herself relax just a bit. "What do you want?" he asked. "J-just shelter." "And I am to just give you shelter?" he asked raising an eyebrow. Renee swallowed and lowered her arms. "I can...pay you." He held out his hand and she swallowed hard. Sex was a sure ticket to anything. Renee walked up to him and he took her hand. "Your skin is frozen," he murmured. He drew her closer. He was warmer. "Sit near the fire. I want to see you properly." That made sense. Renee figured he'd like to see who he's going to screw. She sat by the fire and tucked her feet under her. She folded her hands in her lap. She felt him look at her. She glanced at him and was surprised when he was looking right back into her face and not her chest. He sat near her. "It isn't much. I have some wood drying just there." Renee looked over and saw a small pile. She fought a shiver. "I found this here," he said reaching over by the fire. He had a small ragged blanket and he put it around her shoulders. "I don't want you to pay me. Even though I'm sure laying with you would be quite a pleasure." "What do you want then?" Renee asked. "Company, if you can spare it. Ever since I lost my wife I've been quite lonely." "I'm sorry," Renee said, sincerity ringing in her voice. "You look cold." He was wearing about as much as she was. A grimy scrap of cloth around his waist and that was about it. There was something beautiful about him. Perhaps it was the sparkle in his eye or the soft edge of his smile. Renee got up and moved to him. She slipped into his lap and put the blanket around his shoulders. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close to his chest. "We'll stay warmer this way," she whispered.

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--"What's wrong?" Charlie asked as he touched Renee's back. She heaved again and vomited. "I can't remember the last time I bled." "What do you mean?" Charlie asked. "You mean the woman kind?" Renee nodded. She sat back and he put his arms around her. "I think I'm going to have a baby." "Wonderful!" Charlie said happily. "Wonderful?" Charlie stood and pulled her to her feet. He hugged her tight and spun her around. "Don't you see? A little baby that is just ours!" Renee looked at him. His one eye sparkled with delight and he kissed her. "You're truly happy about this." "I love you," he said. --The pain was excruciating. Renee had nearly bitten a hole in her lip as she tried to keep from screaming. Charlie sat beside her, moping her forehead and holding her hand. "How much longer?!" He looked between her legs and Renee felt him check. "I can see the head. It's time to push now." Renee screamed as she pushed. Her body was on fire and her head felt like it was going to explode. Tears streamed down her cheeks and she was sure her body was going to break. "I can see the head love, keep pushing. You can do this!" "God this hurt so much!" "You are doing wonderful, you are so amazing Renee. I can see the forehead! Look the face! Renee my love you're almost done!" Renee cried harder and with one final push the baby spilled into Charlie's waiting arms and began to scream as soon as her little lungs filled with enough air. Renee fell back against the lumpy bed and panted. She put her hands to her face and wiped the sweat from her forehead. Charlie dipped their baby in water they had collected from the river and cleaned her. He wrapped her in their warmest blanket and passed her to Renee. "Oh, Charlie..." she gasped. "She," he said kissing his wife's temple, "we have a baby girl." "I have a girl?" Renee gasped in disbelief. She checked her baby for any defects or injuries, almost amazed that a baby could be so perfect.

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"Isabella," Charlie murmured. "Bella." Renee looked at him sadly. Isabella had been the name of his devoted mother who died trying to save him from being taken when he was twelve or so. "Bella," she agreed looking at her beautiful baby. Their lives would be perfect. They had each other and they had their baby. Charlie watched on like the proud father he was as Renee fed their daughter. As Renee rocked their baby to sleep he went out to hunt. --Edward smiled as he saw faint images of Bella as a curious toddler in her mother's mind. He couldn't hear much from Renee but when her guard was down he could take a peek. In her memory little Bella who couldn't have been more than a toddler was reaching for the small fire that warmed the tiny home and her father was running to her with a cry. He scooped her up and scolded her for playing around the fire but kissed her forehead regardless and hugged her. He always felt a bit jealous when he saw the memories of the people around him when it involved being loved by both of their parents. "What are you thinking about?" Carlisle asked as he rotated some of Jasper's joints to keep them from sustaining damage. "Renee is thinking about her husband and when Bella was born. She was a cute little toddler." "Lord Edward get a life," Carlisle sighed. "Alice...?" Jasper grunted. "She's awake now," Carlisle said, "but I'm going to keep you here until you completely heal to avoid doing further damage." "Jerk." "Yeah I get like that," Carlisle sighed. "She and Bella just had a fight," Edward said, "and if I know anything about females and fighting then I would say steer clear for a few hours while they calm down. Especially since the fight was about whether or not we should be trusted." "I knew it! You were listening in weren't you?!" Bella cried as she came in with the bowl of blood that Carlisle requested. "Not that there was much to listen to," Edward sniffed, "just boring girl prattle." "If we're so boring why do you keep listening?!" Because I'm horribly in love with you "Because I enjoy seeing you get all worked up over nothing." "You are insufferable!" "Children must you fight around the wounded?" Carlisle sighed. He took the blood from Bella and went to

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feed his brother. "She started it," Edward grumbled. "You started it!" Bella shot back. "Don't you have something to clean?" Edward growled. "Don't you have something to screw?" "Lol burn." Both Bella and Edward took a moment from their bickering to look over at Carlisle with confused expressions. Even Jasper looked a little confused even though he could barely move his face. "At least I have had something to screw," Edward snapped, returning to the argument. "Scoring with the biggest slut in the world isn't much to brag about," Bella said icily. "Oh you're just jealous!" "Right because my idea of a good time is being amused by sex with you." Edward clenched his fists and glared at her. He could practically feel the electricity between them. "Why don't you go get the laundry or something useful?" "Oh that's original." In that moment Edward began to loudly sing the Meow Mix jingle and every other song relating to cats that he could think of. He kept this up for a couple hours, following her through the house. Finally Bella couldn't take it. She whirled around and almost crashed right into him. "YOU ARE THE MOST INFURIATING CREATURE ON THE PLANET!" "I know you are but what am I?" "Oh my god! I'm going to bed!" "Goodnight kitten! Sweet dreams!" "Oh kiss my ass you pretentious vampire prick!" "You'd love that wouldn't you kitten?" "I'd probably get some sort of disease." "Right like someone like me would have any kind of disease." "You never know what your ex carried!" "Well then you'd have it to," Edward shot back, instantly regretting it when the words slipped out. He wanted

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to kick himself when he saw the flash of pain through Bella's eyes that she tried to hide. "I hope you choke!" Edward let her storm off angrily. He folded his arms and sighed. He was making great progress with her. He groaned and went back into Carlisle's room where Jasper was getting feeling back in his hands. "I messed up." "We heard," Carlisle said, rotating the joins in Jasper's feet. Edward sighed and fell onto the bed beside his brother. He looked over at him. "Remember when we were eight and you sneak attacked me?" he asked with a playfully crooked grin. "Don't even think about it!" Carlisle rolled his eyes and started bending and unbending Jasper's knee. "Oh Jazzy." "I swear I will kill you when I get full feeling back! I can kick your sorry ass from here to hell if I need to." "Pssh." "Careful Edward," Carlisle sighed. He looked like he was about to say more when he hesitated. "It approaches," he whispered so only they could hear. "Carlisle what are you still doing?" his new wife asked as she walked in. Carlisle looked up at her and tried to remember her name. "Doctor business. I'll be out in a while." She folded her arms and pouted. "But I'm so lonely now. It's our wedding night." "Look he doesn't want to have sex with you now or ever, just because it's a political marriage doesn't mean that he's happy about it now if you please I'd like to recover in peace." Everyone stared at Jasper in shock and he looked like nothing had happened. Angrily the new Mrs. Cullen huffed out and Carlisle tried not to laugh. "She's still going to jump you later," Edward warned. "She likes it kinky." Carlisle shuddered. --The sun was shining bright outside and it was a new week. Jasper was fully healed and the first thing he did was run down the stairs to find Alice, ignoring the spike in irritation from her sister. She was asleep, or at least he thought she was. He saw the bandages and bit his lip. He could only imagine the extent of the damage. Carlisle hadn't told him and neither had Edward. But to require that many bandages it had to be bad.

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"Alice?" he murmured sitting beside her. She turned her head to him and smiled. "Jasper," she breathed, reaching up to touch him. He took her hand as she touched his cheek. He held it there for a moment, taking in the soft warmth of her small and slender fingers. He leaned down and kissed her. "I am so sorry my love," he whispered. "Don't be. I'm alive." "Yes, but you are hurt," he said touching the bandages on top of her head. "I should have protected you better." "He could have killed you and you went against him for me." Jasper pulled away but her hand snagged his. He swept her into his arms and carried her outside. He set her lightly on a garden bench and sat beside her. "Carlisle said I can take the bandages off," he said. "I have fresh ones if you need them." Alice nodded. Jasper carefully unwound the gauze, taking a moment to as usual marvel at Carlisle's skills. When all of the gauze was removed Jasper tried to remain silent. Alice looked down at her hands and he touched her cheek. She had needed stitches. They were just removed that morning. Half of her face was gone. Jasper felt like crying. Before him she was beautiful and whole. He wondered how she was going to feel about it. "It's bad isn't it?" she asked. "This would have never happened if I was only careful, or if I had done as I was supposed to and protected you." Alice looked at him. Four long gashes marred her face from when his father attacked her. The softest one was across her forehead and two across her cheek with one slanting across her mouth. Adding to Jasper's intense heartache was the longest one that stretched from just above one ear to the next. There were marks from the stitches framing her eyes and going across her nose. "Alice," he whispered as the reality of her injuries dawned on him, "can you see me?" "No," she answered quietly. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 16, "You wanted to see me?" Bella murmured as she appeared in Edward's room. He looked over at her and smiled. "Yes, I did," he said standing. He walked over to her and pulled her to him. His arm was secure around her

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waist and one hand cupped her cheek. "Bella I'm in love with you. I can't focus on anything but you." "Oh Edward," she gasped, "it's so wrong but I love you too. I have always loved you." Edward smiled and kissed her. Her hands rested against his chest and as the kiss deepened she pulled him tighter to her. She moved her head away to breathe and looked into his eyes. "Make love to me for one whole month," she begged with a sultry pout as she began slipping her sleeves down he arms. "Okay." --Emmett and Jasper stood in the doorway of Edward's room with a video camera biting their tongues to keep from laughing. "Oh Bella you're so naughty," Edward sighed, rolling onto his side and smiling. "What are you guys..." "Shhhh!" Emmett clapped his hand over Carlisle's mouth. "Oh this is so sweet." "Who taught you how to do that?" Edward mumbled. He grabbed his pillow and hugged it tight. "Mmm Bella you're so soft and warm." "He's strangely articulate in his dreams," Jasper muttered. Carlisle and Emmett nodded in agreement. They all failed at stifling a laugh when Edward moaned and began to kiss his pillow. Really kiss his pillow. "Huh?" "Oh Bella, oh Bella you're so soft and so warm and I want to hump your brains out," they teased in chorus. "YOU! YOU JERKS! GET THE HELL OUT!" "Oh come on Eddie everybody has wet dreams," Emmett laughed jumping away as Edward swiped for the camera. "It is a medical fact," Carlisle agreed. "We just didn't know you'd be so vocal about it," Jasper added. "I WILL KILL YOU ALL I SWEAR!" "What are you guys yelling about?" Bella asked as she came up the stairs. Edward would have gone several shades of red were he able to and his brothers just burst into howls of laughter. Bella looked over at Edward and did glow several shades of red when she saw Edward's tent. "Yeah Eddie what are you yelling about?" Emmett asked. "I will skin you alive!" Edward growled. He jumped onto Emmett's back and the bigger vampire shrieked.

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"Dude! DUDE!" "Em you know his genitals are happy and erect against your back right?" Edward screamed and fell to the ground as Emmett bucked him off like a wild horse. Edward clapped his hands over his erection and ran off. "You boys are so childish," Bella sighed. Emmett put his arm around Bella's shoulders. "Bella there comes a time in every brother's life when he must torment his younger." "Mmhm, believe me that happens with sister's too." "Give me the tape boys," Esme ordered as she appeared behind them. "What tape? There's no tape," Jasper said innocently. Esme raised one eyebrow and folded her arms. "Is that so?" Carlisle wavered when Esme shot him a look. "It's just some fun Esme." "Dude can you say whipped?!" "Hand it over now." Going against Esme was like going against their mother, it just didn't happen. Emmett handed the tape over and Esme gave them all scolding looks before pocketing it and walking off with Bella. "I swear I don't understand them," Bella sighed. "You never will trust me," Esme assured her. "How is Alice?" "Coping," Bella answered grimly, "I'm happy for her but she's still so crazy about him. I don't know what to make of it." "Love is strange," Esme reminded her. "Listen, sweetie, I know you don't trust vampires, but you used to trust ours." "Until my sister had her eyes ripped out!" "Now none of that," Esme scolded, "if you'll remember Jasper tried to defend her. Edward killed to save you and Carlisle takes care of you both when you're sick." "Trusting is a little harder," Bella mumbled. She looked out the window where she saw Edward chasing his brothers. "He's a good person, Esme, but I can't...not after everything that has happened." "Can't? Or won't?" Jasper pulled away from them to steady Alice as she worked in the garden. Bella was ready to wring her

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sister's neck! She was specifically told to avoid working and going about outside. But Jasper was ever patient with her. Since she had lost her sight he had been there by her side to guide her and show her how to adapt. Bella saw her look adoringly up at him. Or at least it was probably adoringly. She wore a white bandage around her eyes these days because she knew it caused Jasper pain to see the scars. Not that Bella blamed her. Sometimes it was hard to see the mangled flesh because it brought memories. To Jasper it was a reminder that just being a vampire was enough to risk her life, and Bella saw a reminder of the cruelty within the vampires. But Jasper still kissed her forehead and carried her across the garden. Lord Cullen had left almost instantly after discovering them for his political life and he would be gone until the fall if all went according to plan. "You look beautiful in the summer sun." Bella turned and saw Edward. She looked around, wondering when Esme left. "Me?" "Who else?" he asked leaning against the wall beside the window. Bella looked away from him but she knew he was still gazing at her. He still had feelings for her, she was sure of that much. "Look, Edward..." "You don't have to explain anything to me," he said with a casual shrug, "I have no right to expect you to come to me easily or at all. Looking at what you've been through and now what being in love with me could cause..." "How can I trust you?" Bella blurted. "How indeed? I have been your friend and I have tried to convince you that I adore you. I've always been there to bail you out when you're in trouble. Hell I've even sat by you when you were sick." "That's not fair and you know it." Edward gave her a crooked grin, "life isn't fair kitten." "I'm sorry I can't trust you as easily as Alice can." "Tell me something kitten, when was the last time you tried? You know I'm different." "And I also know that you want to screw me and frequently." "You are incredibly attractive and very high on the sexy side," Edward agreed, "and when you give me the green light I will gladly sex you until you faint, but you know that I am not going to hurt you. I am not going to use you and abuse you for my own enjoyment." "I see his face everywhere," Bella blurted, "I see him and I hear him and I feel him. I can't take comfort in your touch because I will only feel his." Edward stood strait and walked up to her. He touched her cheeks gently with his fingertips and she pulled away. Quickly one of his arms slipped around her waist and pulled her to him and he lowered his lips to hers in a gentle kiss. "Mmf!" Bella protested. She pushed away from him. "WHAT DID I JUST SAY?! YOU ARE SUCH AN ASS!"

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"That works in the movies, I thought I'd give it a shot," Edward said with a shrug. "This isn't a movie! This is real life!" "Worth it though," Edward sighed dreamily, "to touch your lips just once." Bella sighed and gave him a look. "Edward please get over it. We will never be anything." Edward grinned and pulled her close again. He laid a soft kiss on her lips and another on each cheek. "I'm Edward Cullen," he whispered against her skin, "I always get what I want." --The dream began as it always did. Bella sat in an icy room with a single 60 watt bulb above her. She clutched herself in an attempt to stay warm and curled her legs into her chest. He came to her. The phantom of her nightmares. His ice cold hands grabbed her and held her tight. She looked up into his face and he grinned. Bella struggled against him but he just held her all the same. Cold hard lips explored her unwilling body and she tried to scream but nothing came out. Two more hands curled around her from behind and a sickeningly sweet scent wrapped around her. "Because I love you," the voice purred in her ear. The room was warm and dim from the flickering glow of a fire. His hands were cold but gentle. Bella tilted her head back and opened her mouth but she still couldn't scream. His mouth, so strangely warm, caressed her neck. His tongue flicked the shell of her ear. One hand against her jaw kept her head from moving and the other worked her body. Cool and gentle hands massaged her breasts and teased her. "You will love me." She wanted him. Her body ached at the very thought of him. She gasped when his fingers slipped between her legs and into her. "Does this please you kitten?" he asked. "Yes," she panted. "My vampire heart belongs to you." Bella turned her head and saw him there. Edward Cullen, the beautiful creature that owned every part of her. His mouth fell upon hers and dominated it. Her hand slipped into his soft bronze hair. She could feel just how much he needed her against her bottom. Her body burned for him. She needed him so badly. The loud buzzing of an alarm brought her back to reality. Her eyes snapped open and she looked around. She was in bed. She was in her bed quite alone. Edward was up in his and he would probably be wanting his breakfast. --Edward knew he was in trouble when he came downstairs and the smell hit him like a ten ton wrecking ball.

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Bella was alone in the kitchen. Her usually calm scent was spiked with something else. He could smell the remnants of her arousal and even the subtle increases as she recalled something. "Morning," he said. The arousal spiked when she saw him. Edward felt himself puff a little. So she was turned on by him. Judging by the way she was avoiding his eyes she had had a very naughty dream. Now more than ever he wished he could break into her mind and discover what the dream was about. How many times had his dreamworld counterpart scored? "Morning," she mumbled quickly, looking away. Edward noticed a problem almost instantly. She was ashamed of her reaction to him. Surely she noticed the way her body reacted. He knew enough about an aroused female to know that there was an obvious change (if it wasn't obvious to everyone else). He noticed the way that she was trying to tighten the muscles in her thighs and keep her legs together, as if to apply pressure. Oh this was too good. Edward bit his lip. If he was a vampire of lesser morals he would have gone up and felt for himself just how ready she was. Her cheeks had a pink stain and her hands trembled slightly. Edward noticed then a delightful development. She was still very much aroused and very much in need of a release (whether or not she knew it herself). Edward noticed something less delightful. His body was reacting. He felt the all too familiar tingle and he would have to cut this short. He left quickly and made it up to his room just as his problem was becoming obvious. "Stupid sexy Bella," he grunted going into his bathroom. He turned on the shower and stepped in. --Alice was trying to hard to stay optimistic. She saw only fuzzy shapes at best. It usually put too much of a strain on her to use her almost completely useless eyes so she didn't very often. It was easier to keep the bandage on and forget about it. Though she liked that she seemed to be able to hear better and her sense of touch seemed to improve as well. She liked that bit. Especially now when she was cuddled up with her vampire. His strong arm was around her, keeping her close to him, and he was reading to her. His smooth voice was like the softest silk and she loved it, she could feel his cool breath when he spoke. He smelled sweet. She snuggled into his side and heard a soft break in his silken words as his lips placed a soft kiss on her head. "I don't want to know the ending," Alice said, "just tell me that the soldier remains with his lover forever." Jasper tossed the book aside. The soldier killed his lover by mistake in the ending. "They are together forever," he promised. Alice felt his arms around her and he shifted her so that they were laying side by side. "How do you feel today?" "The headaches are better," Alice admitted, "Carlisle said that it's a sign my body has adapted. But still, I like having the bandage on so I don't try to focus." "Even though he hates my choices, father has named me his successor. I will be off to graduate school soon."

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"What does that mean for us?" Alice asked. "He has expectations for me. Expectations that I can't fulfill but I can't refuse. As much as I hate to admit this, your injuries are mild to him. The fact that you are with me now is proof of his sick mercy." "I will follow you wherever you lead me," Alice said, "I will not get in the way of a marriage." "Don't say that," Jasper said sharply. "I won't get married. You are the only woman I love and the only woman I will love. Alice I can't follow in his footsteps not anymore." "What do you mean?" Jasper nuzzled her hair and bit his lip. He held her tighter. He didn't say anything. --The ball flew through the air with a crack like thunder. Emmett grinned and sped to the bases. "So basically," Edward said, watching Emmett round first and head to second, "you are going to go learn how father manipulates parliament and how to be a soldier." "Something like that yeah," Jasper said, "he's not exactly giving me a choice. What with Carlisle being a so called disappointment and a loudly proclaimed pacifist and you being pretty much disliked by the old bastard that doesn't leave many options. Hell if Rosie was a guy she'd be his perfect son." "EEW!" Emmett called as he stood on third. "YOU BASTARDS ARE SICK!" Edward and Jasper laughed and there was another loud crack and another ball went flying, sending Emmett home. "Alice said she will follow me but how can I take her?" Jasper asked. "Put her closer to danger like that..." "Well I suppose you could always say no." "Yeah because that always goes over well with our father," Jasper grumbled, "Edward don't play dumb." "I'm serious! Claim it's a crime of passion and you want to be something else." "Yes because he'll believe that. He knows that if I suddenly tell him that I don't want to that it's because of her. He kept her alive only so that I could see the evidence of my inability to protect her every day." "Jazz I'm your brother and I love you. You've been my best friend since we met. I can't tell you what to do because I don't know what you're going through." "He'll expect me to get married and have children. If I do stay with Alice she'll be just an affair. I want more than that. I want to marry her." Edward's eyes widened. Jasper was still watching the game. Emmett was pitching and already he had struck one batter out. Edward continued to gape and Jasper pretended to ignore him. "Are you insane?!"

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"What?" "Father will kill you." I love her Edward, more than you know. I feel like my whole life I had been waiting for her. Edward when I'm with her I feel complete. "It isn't going to be easy," Edward said so quietly Jasper could barely hear him. "Yeah, but she's worth it." --The humans had a nice bathroom by usual standards. It was made when one day Esme dramatically sighed to Lord Cullen that the reason the humans couldn't start earlier was because at the time ten of them were trying to stumble over two showers after listening to his complaints. It helped that Lady Cullen was with him at the time and she gave him a severe look until he had called a contractor. Because she couldn't see, Alice was to have a babysitter in the bathroom. That babysitter was usually Bella. Renee helped as well. Bella could see her fidget sometimes as if she wanted to help her as well. It was her nature. "I remember when you girls were little and you let me bathe you," Renee sighed dramatically as Bella undressed and slipped into the tub the size of a hot tub (thanks to Carlisle who wanted a place to share with Esme when nobody was home). "Mom, really?" "I never got to bathe my own children but I used to bathe Edward and Jasper when they were little," Esme sighed as she leaned against the tile. "I'll tell you trying to bathe a vampire toddler now that is an adventure." "Clearly you never had to try to bathe Bella as a toddler," Renee challenged with a laugh. Esme thought for a moment. "You may have a point," she agreed. "You two know I am right here and can in fact hear you right?" Bella asked as she helped Alice into the tub. "She has a point, you've always been a rebellious person." "You all are traitors," Bella grumbled. "Dip back." "Yes mother," Alice mocked. Bella splashed her and she splashed back. Bella washed her hair gently and Alice sighed. "Geez I've seen tumbleweeds less tangled." "At least my hair doesn't feel like wire." "Girls grow up," Renee sighed with a smile.

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"Oh lord I could tell you stories about when Edward and Jasper were kids and they would have to take a bath. Sometimes I would have to call Carlisle and he would have to come and help me." "I can't imagine taking care of a little vampire. Didn't his parents do that?" "Well Lady Cullen died in his birth and his father worked most of the time. Carlisle and I practically raised little Edward." "Raising those two has been the best thing that could have ever happened," Renee sighed happily looking over at her daughters. Bella was carefully washing Alice's back and they were laughing, completely in their own world. "Jasper is really in love with her," Esme sighed as they left the bathroom. "You think so?" "I do. Jasper is very loyal to his father. All of his life he has wanted to be a military officer and a politician like Lord Cullen. I think his father knows that he is in love for real. It scares him." Renee glanced back over her shoulder, "after what happened to Alice...I can't say I'm thrilled with their relationship. I want her to stay away from him." "That's not going to happen," Esme promised her. "Help me with the sheets?" "Sure," Renee agreed, "so you know him better than I do. How does he feel about her?" "He was going to die for her," Esme said looking over at her, "he is in love. Madly by the look of it. He has never dated before." Renee sighed. This was the last thing she could have ever wanted for her daughter. --"Jasper I have taught you everything that you need to know about being a proper man," Lord Cullen said as he walked down the gleaming halls of the capitol building. Jasper glanced up at him. "I promised your mother when she died that I would take care of you and I have. You may think my actions were harsh concerning your human but it was the only way you would learn. I promise you it was all for the best." "Yes, father," Jasper said in a monotone. "You are twenty-one and you are more than old enough to settle down." "You're arranging a marriage for me?!" "Not quite yet," Lord Cullen said with a dry chuckle. "I am suggesting a match. I want our family tied to the Denali family. Edward managed to screw that up as per usual and now I will suggest that you date Tanya." Jasper bit back a shudder. The idea of dating that horrible vampire was scary. Not to mention his brother had quite the grudge against her and it was taking all of his will power not to beat her into the ground.

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"Father, Tanya..." "Good family, attractive, good genetics, I don't see where this is a bad idea. Surely you aren't in love with someone else?" Jasper bit his tongue and dropped his head. Lord Cullen sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "You will be with Tanya or I will have your human killed do you understand me?" "Yes, father," Jasper mumbled, dropping his head. --Alice awoke when she felt a hand on her shoulder and a hand over her mouth. "It's me," Jasper whispered in her ear. "Come on." Alice felt him take her hand and lead her out. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her near. "What's wrong?" She asked, "what's time is it?" "Midnight or so," Jasper said holding her tight, "Alice my father has more or less engaged me to Tanya. If I don't he will kill you. I am going to be impulsive." "What do you mean impulsive?" Alice asked. He took her hands and pulled back. "Alice," he said kneeling. "What are you doing? I can't see you." "I'm kneeling on one knee before you," Jasper said, "Alice will you be my wife?" "Jasper...you're serious?" Jasper nodded. He stood and kissed her forehead. "Alice, I love you. I refuse to marry Tanya or anyone else. More importantly I refuse to let my father use you against me. You are my only love. Please, Alice, marry me." Alice looked up at him. He kissed her eyelids and then her lips. "Jasper I love you. But how is marrying me going to solve anything? It isn't even legal." "We're going to run away," Jasper said. Alice took a step back from him. "You're serious?" He nodded. She waited. She gave him a look that clearly demanded an answer. "I nodded." "I didn't see that!" "I'm sorry, it's just habit."

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"Jasper please be rational. You're good at being rational." "I can't be rational in an irrational relationship!" Jasper cried, "Alice, I have never been this way before. I have never wanted to throw everything into the wind for someone before. Alice I want you to run away with me." Alice turned away from him and felt around for a place to sit. Jasper swept her into his arms and sat her down in the parlor. "Jasper...I love you. You know I do, but I can't leave. I can't be away from my mom..." "You were before!" Alice shot him an angry glare. "Not by choice if you'll recall. Besides I can't be without Bella. I can't leave her behind. Being without my mother was hard enough but Bella is my sister and my best friend. I need her and she needs me. She still has nightmares about being abducted and she is dealing with so much right now." "She's dealing with so much? Alice you lost your eyes!" "I still have them they just don't work anymore." "That isn't the point! You babysit her as if..." "She's my sister," Alice reminded him calmly. "Jasper you don't understand. Growing up I didn't have anybody but them. If you hadn't bought me and only Bella...god I would have died." "So you love me but you aren't willing to leave with me?" "Don't be like that," Alice sighed standing, "please Jasper don't put that on me." "Stay with me tonight at least," he asked. Alice softened and turned. "Not tonight. I want you to be alone so you can think with the right head," she sighed before turning and walking off. "Alice you're going the wrong way." "I knew that," she said turning. Jasper sighed and turned her in the right direction. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her cheek. "When it comes to you my love, there is no right head." "I love you so much, you know that." "Always, and I'm sorry for being rude and making you walk out." "Accepted." "Brilliant. Now, let me walk to you bed." They reached the servants quarters and Alice turned. "My answer is yes to the first proposition."

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Jasper smiled and kissed her. "We'll figure out the second." Alice smiled and he led her to bed then left. "Alice?" Bella asked groggily. She turned and felt for her hand. Alice squeezed it. "What's wrong?" "Nothing," Alice whispered, "I love you Bella." "I love you too," Bella mumbled. She smiled and brushed some of Alice's bangs from her face. "Your hair is getting longer." "Jasper says it's cute when you feather it." "Well I'm glad Jasper approves," Bella laughed quietly. "I'm sorry for being so angry with you about him. I realize I never apologized." "Don't worry about it," Alice said, shifting to lay on her stomach, and giving her hand a squeeze. "You're my sister and you're just looking out for me." Bella smiled and closed her eyes. Their vampires always pegged her as the defender and the stronger one. But she knew it was her sister. Alice was the calm maternal one. The one that kept her sane and cooled her down when Edward riled her up. Bella could hear Alice's soft snores, indicating that she had fallen asleep and smiled. She was jealous of her sister's ability to trust their vampires so easily and to admit to the feelings in her heart. But then again Alice was always the mature one. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! So a few things to address since I don't have time to reply to everyone. First is a question about the venom and if vampires can change humans. As far as the vampires know there is no way to change a human into a vampire. There is one way that they kind of know of but it's treated as more of a myth or something like that because there is no medical proof to back it up. Kind of like how we believe that eating chicken soup when sick can cure the flu but there is no actual proof (and if there is then meh I'm not medical at all). Second is Alice's blindness. It is permanent-ish. Her pupils were damaged except for a small portion of them. Kind of near the top. She can see very fuzzy and very dim shapes but it hurts too much to try to focus (both her eyes and she gets headaches), kind of like trying to see without glasses after a stretch of time. Chapter 17, Edward made it a point to tell Carlisle that while he loved him there were still personal bubbles. So naturally he was upset when he woke up and found his brother laying beside him. "What are you doing here?!" Edward cried as he jumped out of bed.

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"More importantly how long have you been wearing pink boxers?" "They're light red!" "Mmhm, anyway I came here because I was scared at home." "Oh?" "Yes. Sandra..." "Who?" "My wife." "Oh." "Yes. Anyway we had sex last night." Edward cringed. "Spare my the dirty details." Carlisle pressed his lips together. But his mind replayed everything from dinner to when his wife declared that they needed sex and that if he didn't go along with it she would bring it up with his father. Then Edward saw, in great detail, what could only be amazingly bad sex. "Dude." "I didn't say a thing." HORRIFYING SEX EDWARD! HORRIFYING! "STOP THINKING THAT!" Carlisle grinned like a cat and Edward grumbled. "So what is your brother up to?" "You waited in my bed for me to wake up so that you could ask what Jasper is up to?" Carlisle nodded and grinned. Edward rolled his eyes and shrugged. "I don't know. Last night I overheard him and Alice having an argument." "What kind?" "I don't know!" Carlisle gave him a look. Edward sighed, defeated. "About their future together. I heard it in his mind. Father wants him to hook up with Tanya because he wants to bind the two families. He wants to run away with Alice." Carlisle's eyes widened. Sure he had considered running away with Esme when his engagement to his current wife was announced but that would be near suicide. Only Edward could possibly get away with it and that was because Lord Cullen disliked his youngest enough as it was. Hell it would have been a miracle if he, Carlisle,

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had managed to get away with it. But Jasper was the pride of Lord Cullen's flock. He was the son that fulfilled all of his adopted father's dreams. It was going to be announced Friday night at a celebration that Jasper was going to be named heir to his father's military career and his seat in the government while Carlisle, the natural heir, would inherit the largest portion of the estate. "Does he know that consequences? Father loves Rosalie dearly but he will never pass his government position to her. I'm a declared pacifist and a disappointment and what chance to you have?" "He's lost his marbles that's for sure," Edward grumbled bitterly. He wasn't happy that his brother was so happy to up and leave, especially when he was leaving for a girl. But Edward knew that he was selfish like that. He heard Bella walk down the hall, probably to get the laundry or something, and softened a little. Would he ever do the same with her if she returned his feelings? --Alice smiled when she felt the two familiar arms around her waist. "How are you this morning my love?" Jasper asked. "Tired," she admitted, "I didn't sleep much. I was thinking about too many things." "Penny for your thoughts?" Alice put down the towel she was folding (it was really the only job she could do anymore besides watering plants and even that was a stretch) and Jasper quickly moved it to the correct pile. "I was just thinking about how simple things were only last year. When all I had in the world was my family." "Are you unhappy?" "No," Alice murmured taking another towel and slowly folding it, "I am happy with you it's just...when my world was so small there were so few choices that had to be made. I recognize that the only way we can truly be happy together is that if we are away from this place but my heart would be divided forever between where we are and here, with my sister and my mother, even your brothers. You all are so dear to me. Even Emmett has grown on me." "At the end of the week I will be named my father's heir," Jasper said, resting his chin on her shoulder and holding her tight from behind. "There is talk of a war nearing. Diplomatic relations with Caius's kingdom aren't as strong." "What if there is a war. What will happen?" "I'll be called to serve," Jasper said, "my father will take his place as General and I will finish my training in a boot camp. Then I will be sent out to his side, an honor that until you was my dream. Now I have a different one. Admittedly, a safer one." "Right, safer," Alice snorted, "how much safer would it be with your psycho father after us? I'm not stupid. Plus I heard Edward and Carlisle talking." "I hate it when they do that," Jasper growled, mentally promising to get Edward back for this. Alice felt for her pile of towels and grabbed them. Jasper helped her put them neatly in the basket and she put it on her hip. "Help me?" She asked sweetly.

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"Always," Jasper said softly. --Edward saw Bella absentmindedly dusting the portraits again. He leaned against the wall and watched her. She seemed completely absorbed in other thoughts and he would have given anything to find out what those thoughts were. But he enjoyed seeing the blush creep through her cheeks and her bottom lip slip between her teeth. He was delighted when he could pick up the soft scent of her arousal. "You know," he said making her jump, "we could just have sex and get rid of all this sexual tension." "Please like I would have sex with you," Bella snorted. Edward was beside her in a flash and she was being cradled lightly in his arms. "But you want to," he pointed out, "you've been thinking about me and having dreams about me." "No I haven't!" The blush betrayed her. It spread across her cheeks and glowed a deep shade of red. Edward could feel the spike in warmth. He searched her eyes. She didn't look at him in terror like she usually would have, nor was there any mocking. Edward brushed some hair from her face with gentle fingertips. "Let me kiss you," he whispered, "give me that at least." Bella pushed lightly against his chest. He let her go and she stepped away. Without a word she left him. Edward sighed and looked up at the portrait near him. His parents looked at him from their wedding day. "Crabby old bastard," he grumbled before walking off. --"Mom can I ask you something?" Bella asked as she joined Renee in the kitchen. "Certainly baby," Renee said putting dishes into the sink. Bella handed her the scrubber and Renee put soap on it. "What was it like when you met dad?" Renee smiled and began to wash a bowl. "Frightening and beautiful. I had run away you see and it was raining. I found a small shack and he was there. When I got in he caught me and I asked him if I could stay. I told him I could pay him with the only thing I had." "What was that?" Bella asked. "Myself," Renee answered, "that was all I had and it was something that men would usually except. So I was surprised when Charlie sat me down by the small fire and gave me a blanket. We talked all night until we fell asleep. By then I had moved into his lap to keep us both warm." "Weren't you afraid?" Bella asked.

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"Not of him," she replied, her mind miles away in her past, "Charlie was different. I knew he wanted me and even though I had offered myself as payment for his kindness, he waited until I was ready. When it finally did happen it was beautiful, he was so gentle and loving. When I learned I was pregnant with you he was so happy. He delivered you when it was time. Your father was a wonderful man and I can only hope that he is at peace." Bella dried the dishes she was handed silently. She could picture it, a scared young girl and a kind young man. They didn't have a good grasp of age so Bella could only guess how old they both were. It helped her imagination to know ages or at least general ages. She hadn't thought of her father in a long time. "I miss him," she said. "I do too. But wherever he is I know he's happy that we're all together again. I have given it a great deal of thought and I am happy that he went when he did. It would have killed him to see you girls enslaved." "How long were you there after we left?" Renee thought for a moment. "A month or so perhaps. I'm not sure. I had been there a few weeks before you came. Oh Bells when I saw your face again...I never dreamed I would ever see you girls." Bella gave a weak smile and Renee hugged her shoulders and kissed her temple. --"Why doesn't Bella love me?" Edward asked. "Why does my new wife keep trying to violate me?" Carlisle asked with a shrug, "things are the way they are." "That isn't good enough!" Edward whined, "I want her to love me!" "Okay can we grow up for a minute?" Carlisle asked, slightly irritated. "Look you can't just whine and complain because some girl doesn't return your feelings. It doesn't quite work that way. Now I know you're used to being a hottie stud muffin but rejection happens so get used to it." Edward raised his eyebrows. "Hottie stud muffin?" "Very stressed out right now Edward!" Carlisle cried shrilly. "Now can you kindly get out?" "Fine, I'll leave you and Esme in peace," Edward sighed dramatically. "Thank you!" Edward stuck his tongue out and Carlisle rolled his eyes. Shortly after Esme did indeed come in and his mood brightened. --"I keep thinking about him," Bella admitted as she helped Renee put the dishes away. "Oh not you too," Renee sighed, "you girls."

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"See Esme usually has a different view on the matter," Bella reminded her with a small smile. "Esme is different," Renee said putting the bowls in the cabinet and the silverware in the drawer. While she worked, Bella got out the ingredients for their lunch and the blood for their vampires. "I don't want to see you two in any danger and being in a relationship with a vampire is certainly dangerous." Bella nodded and set out new bowls for their vampires. She opened two bottles of AB and one of synthetic blood. It was weird not to be told that Edward was a good person deep down and such, like she usually heard from Esme. Her mother had a very good point. What good came from being in love with a vampire? Alice was walking proof of just how dangerous it was! But yet there she was, pouring her master's lunch and daydreaming about him yet again. When he came down with his brother's she served him silently and tried to get away as soon as possible so he couldn't notice that she was blushing. --It was raining. Edward loved the rain. The thunder was loud and the lightning would throw shadows across his room. He clicked off his television and got a book. He flipped on the light and collapsed on his bed ready for a good read. He smiled when he heard Bella walking nearby. "Kitten." She came. "Yes?" "Come here," he said. "I want some company." Bella looked at him suspiciously. He raised his eyebrows and she sighed. "Is this some sort of lame trick?" "Nope," he said, "now come here." She did, reluctantly. Edward smiled and pulled her next to him. "Hi." "Hi." "Would you like me to read aloud?" "If you wanted to read so bad why did you summon me?" Bella asked quickly. Edward laughed and nuzzled her hair. "Because the company is better now," he murmured. Bella pulled away but he wasn't having that. "Please stop running from me." "I can see where this is going and I don't want to go there!" "Yes you do," Edward said gently, "and I'm waiting for you to admit it." "Stop. Please." "Fine," he sighed, "but I'm not going to let go of you. You're so warm."

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"Yes, blood can do that to someone, now please let me go!" "Not until you tell me why you were so close to returning my feelings and now nothing." "Because I don't have feelings to return!" "Liar." Bella pushed against him but he held onto her. She tried slapping him but only ended up hurting her hand. "Edward I mean it! Let me go! I'll scream and bring your brothers here!" "No you won't," he said, "besides, you know I'm not going to do anything." "Do I?!" She cried. "Edward you're doing something now!" "I'm just holding you," he pointed out, "because I know that while you're fighting against me like that you really do enjoy it. I can tell because you aren't fighting hard at all!" "Edward I swear to god if you don't let me go right now..." "I love you," he interrupted. "Yes I know that! It's things like this that make me hate you! I am never going to love you no matter how much you want me to so just stop it! Stop wasting both of our energy! I don't have it in me to keep fighting you off I'm emotionally drained as it is!" He touched her face. Bella looked into his eyes and saw something she couldn't read. He had powerful eyes. She hated their control over her. "Have you even tried?" he asked softly, touching her cheek with the back of his fingers. "I'm not going to love you." "Why?" "Because I just won't!" "The truth, Bella, then I'll let you go," he promised. "I have told you the truth! Edward you aren't listening to me!" She cried. Her eyes filled with angry tears and she balled her fists. "You're so stupid you know that! You think that just because you want something bad enough it'll just come to you but it won't! You don't love me! You just want what you can't have!" "That isn't true!" "Say I do give in what then? A few kicks in bed and then you'll tire of me and move on and where will that leave me? I'll be left with only my feelings for you..." She cut off as soon as she realized what she had said. Edward looked surprised. Bella pushed out of his arms and ran out of his room. She crashed into Carlisle in her attempt to escape and fell to the ground.

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"Bella? What's wrong?" "Nothing just leave me alone!" she cried pushing by him and running off. She made it downstairs to find Esme going about her nightly cleanup. "Bella? What's wrong?" "I can't stay here! I don't want to be here anymore! I want to be underground with my family! I hate him!" "Who darling?" Esme asked trying to reach for her. Bella pushed her away and shook her head. "I'm leaving! I don't care that they own me!" "Bella you can't run away! You have a mark on you that will bring you right back here or worse, someone will just keep you. You aren't free anymore and you have to accept that. Whatever it is it'll pass but you have to stay." "Bella? What's going on? What's wrong?" Carlisle asked, his voice full of genuine concern. "If you're so unhappy here then go," Edward said angrily. "Go and try to survive and let the hunters find you! I won't come after you this time." Carlisle looked at his brother and Esme's jaw dropped. "Edward you don't know what you're saying," Carlisle said, "you can't just send her out there." "I'm not sending her, I'm merely suggesting that if she's so unhappy here than she can go dig a hole and try to survive on her own." "I won't allow that," Carlisle said shaking his head, "Bella you need to stay here and Edward, I don't know what you did but shut the hell up I'll deal with you in a minute. Esme, take her to bed and make sure she stays there." "Carlisle..." "That's an order, Esme." Esme nodded and steered Bella to the servants quarters. "Let go of me I can walk on my own!" "You can also run on your own and that is why I won't let go of you," Esme snapped, "you need to stop being so childish and understand your place! Bella we are humans! We are humans that have a better life than most. Out there you will be killed and I will not have that on my conscious!" "Well then can you lighten your grip you're hurting my arm!" Esme stopped and Bella jerked to a stop as well. "You don't get it do you?!" she cried with tears on her cheeks. Bella felt her heart sink. "You are dear to me as my own child would be. I don't ever want to hear you talk about something so stupid ever again." "I'm sorry Esme," Bella mumbled, "I don't mean to hurt you."

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"Go to bed," Esme sighed. "I'll see you in the morning." Bella nodded and went into the servants quarters. She was glad to escape Esme's tears but her relief was short lived because she saw Alice standing before her with her hands on her hips. "What?" "So you were going to leave?" she asked. "Alice..." "No, you know what Bella I don't want to hear it." Alice turned and walked to Renee's cot, stumbling a little but making it. Bella fell onto hers and pulled her blanket up over her head. --"Have you lost your mind completely?!" Carlisle cried. "Perhaps," Edward said with a shrug. "I didn't do anything." "I don't believe that," Carlisle growled, "I told you to be careful with her and I know that you screwed it up somehow. What did you do? Cop a feel or something?" "I didn't do anything!" Edward snapped. "I just told her to be honest with me." Carlisle looked at him with angry narrowed eyes. "That girl was about to run into a thunderstorm at night to get away from you." "I just held her and told her that I knew she was lying about her feelings by pointing out that she liked it when I held her she just didn't know it." Carlisle didn't know whether to bang his head against the wall or bang Edward's head against the wall. "Edward let me see if I can get this through your head. Okay she was violently raped. Now do I need to give you an anatomy lesson?" "Something tells me you will anyway," Edward sighed. "A woman's body has natural reactions to stimulus as a man's does. So what do you think she was told over again when her body reacted?" Edward didn't answer but his expression changed. Carlisle folded his arms and gave him a severe look. "I don't say this often, but if you gave her any kind of emotional damage and ruined any progress she has made I swear to god I will kick your scrawny butt." "I don't think that's what made her so upset," Edward said with little to no confidence in his voice, "She blurted something out and ran off." "I will find out," Carlisle growled, "and hope that you were right."

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Edward stood still as Carlisle left. --Bella stared up at the ceiling. She heard everyone sleeping around her. She sat up and sighed. What was it she was really afraid of? While she was afraid of being abused sexually by her vampire, but there was something worse than that. If she fell in love with him. One day he would have to marry a vampire. She'd be like Alice or Esme, happy when she was with him but miserable by the idea of him making love to another woman (no matter how unsatisfactory or scary it may be). But still, she got out of bed and walked out. She went out onto the patio and looked out at the pouring rain. She hugged her arms and sighed. The wind blew and some rain hit her face. It was refreshing. She figured that Edward was probably awake. He wasn't due to sleep again for another few days. She leaned against the marble pillar and sighed. So what were her choices? Live here for as long as they would keep her trapped in fantasies and sexual tension with the vampire she was so deeply attracted to or admit to Edward that she had feelings for him and then end up broken hearted and miserable when he eventually moved on. And he would, if not by choice than by force. He was a spoiled brat that was used to getting whatever he wanted. There was always the chance that once he got what he wanted he would play with her for a little bit and then go on to someone else. She was at a loss. She knew that if he was human her mother would be telling her to follow her heart but what good was that when her heart was saying a million different things. "Maybe I'm thinking too much," she sighed. She closed her eyes and sat down against the pillar. She closed her eyes and took a moment to enjoy the watery breeze. When she cleared her mind of all reservations she found herself thinking about him. She was lost in a daydream when she heard something land beside her. She looked up at saw him. His bronze hair was dark and wet against his skin. He held out his hand to her and she took it. He pulled her up and looked at her. "Running away?" he asked. "Thinking," she mumbled. "About?" "It doesn't matter how I feel about you Edward," she said, "there is no point." "No point to what?" "You saw what happened when your father found out about Alice and Jasper. And you know how miserable Esme is when Carlisle is with his new wife." "They still...see each other," Edward said. "Nobody likes being the dirty little secret." "Bella we don't exactly have a lot of options," he reminded her, "I am a vampire and the son of a Lord who expects at least something tolerable from me. But I am also a vampire that is in love with you." "How do I know it is going to last?" she asked quietly. Edward tilted his head slightly. "How do I know that if I say yes to you then you'll have your fun with me for a while and then move on?"

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"I guess you don't," he said with a shrug, "but you'll never know if you don't take a few risks." Bella bit her lip. Go for it? Don't go for it? He was a vampire. She swore to hate him and his kind forever. "I can't afford to take risks," she whispered. "Bella," Edward said, stepping towards her. "I'm not going to kiss you, I'm not going to run into your arms and go weak in the knees and sob into your chest and all that mushy stuff that I know makes up a good portion of your wet dreams." He took her hand gently and kissed it. "Sleep well my love, may you have clarity in the morning." Then he let her go. He let her turn around and walk back into the mansion. She walked through the living room. He was going to just let her go. She had seen the pain in his eyes. His strong forceful eyes. Deep burgundy and overflowing with emotion. What was so hard about feeling for him? What did she have to lose? She was already miserable. She was already in fear of Lord Cullen's wrath. What was she really going to lose if it didn't work out? She'd be right back where she was now. So when she turned around she wasn't surprised. Her walk picked up into a run and she went outside again. Edward was looking at the fountain. Bella ran to him. The rain pelted down and made her hair hang heavy around her head and a chill run down her spine. Edward turned to look at her. He was surprised to see her and even more surprised when she fell into his arms and hers locked around his neck. He was even more surprised when she pushed up on her toes and kissed him. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Sorry it's been taking a while to update. It's been extremely hard to write lately thanks to way too many problems. I'm battling two similar but different ideas for the ending. They're basically the same just one big difference. Unfortunately that difference is in the beginning of the two endings :( Chapter 18, Edward pulled Bella's hips against his and held her tight. Her arms were locked around his neck and her lips parted. He took the invitation and took the kiss further. One of his hands slipped into her hair and he held her head gently against his. Bella slipped one hand down his chest and it went behind him to grip his shirt and pull herself closer. Their first kiss had been very similar and very different. Bella felt the same force in the kiss but this time there was something else there. His kiss was softer and the angry force that had been present in the first one was passionate now. Bella wasn't going to let him have his way just yet. She pushed her tongue against his and moaned softly. He loved that. Edward swept her into his arms and jumped up. He landed on his balcony and went into his room. He dropped Bella on the bed and came down to kiss her. Edward crawled over her and her arms went around his neck again.

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"Bella," he whispered against her skin as he pulled away from her lips. "I want you so much." "Uhhuh," she gasped, getting her breath back. She could feel every part of him. "Let me make love to you," he asked in a husky whisper. "Promise you'll be careful?" she asked. Edward nodded. "Yes, I will be careful and I will stop if you ask me to." "Okay." Edward kissed her neck and sucked on her skin. He pulled her nightgown off and looked at her. Worth it. Totally worth it. He wanted to spend the night exploring her body. He wanted to know every soft curve, every scar and every line. She was thin but not nearly as thin as she had been when they got her. "Just don't get too excited," Bella said with a dry laugh, "the back is horrible." Edward remembered the beating his father gave and she must have scars. He leaned down and kissed between her breasts. "I'm sorry," he whispered, "for hurting you." "Just as long as you aren't into that kinky stuff." Edward laughed. "Hate it," he assured her. He kissed her gently. He kissed down her neck and along her collarbone. Bella gasped when his lips found their way to her nipple. She arched her back and he heard her breath get stuck in her throat. Her heartbeat spiked and he just knew that her face was flushing. He massaged her other breast gently with one hand and tweaked her nipple. He nipped playfully on the rosy bud and she made a small yip of a noise. Edward laughed and she slapped his shoulder. "What it was cute!" he laughed, he pinched her nipple and she made the noise again. "What do you want me to do?" Bella asked. "Lay there and just enjoy yourself. I'm ready to go but I want to make sure you're just right before going further. It's much more pleasurable that way." "How will you know I'm ready?" she asked. "Well," Edward murmured, slipping two fingers into her. She took a sharp breath and arched up. "You're ready now, but I'm going to take you further, you're already getting wet for me." He rubbed her clit with his thumb while he slowly moved his fingers in and out of her. "Kiss me," Bella moaned. Edward obliged by lowering his lips to hers and slipped his tongue between her soft lips. He mimicked the rhythm he kept below. Bella moaned and squirmed a bit. She buried her hands in his hair and kept his head against hers. Edward chuckled into the kiss and kept going. He pulled back and pulled his fingers out.

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"Are you ready?" he asked. "Am I?" "Well physically," he murmured, "do you want me? I mean are you going to be okay?" Bella nodded. "I'm never going to forget what they did to me but I figure I'm giving him too much credit if I keep him from letting me live and enjoy myself." "It may hurt at first, tell me if you need me to slow down okay." Bella nodded and he kissed her once before taking off his clothes. He crawled over her and moved between her legs. Bella felt his tip against her and took a breath. Edward carefully slid into her, testing her reactions. She closed her eyes when he was fully in her. "Are you okay?" She nodded. "It's a strange feeling," she admitted. Edward laughed. "I'll take your word on that." He touched her hair gently and tucked some behind her ear. Bella touched his face and smiled at him. He began to move in her, slowly at first still testing her reactions. Her breathing was becoming a little quicker. He held her hips and moved faster. He slid in and out with ease, she was more than ready for him. She was so tight it was making it hard for him to keep his control. Tanya had been a little on the loose side. Her responses had been different too. Bella's moans were soft and gentle. She would arch her back, pushing her breasts against his chest. Her soft arm was around his neck and her lip was between her teeth. She was so innocently beautiful it was overwhelming. He thrust harder. His head was swimming and he needed to release so badly. But he would wait for her. He had to wait for her. He shifted slightly and the moment his hips tapped against her clit she moaned deeper. "There we go," he whispered. "Edward...oh..." she bit her lip harder. Her nails dug against his skin. Her hand locked in his hair and she silently demanded to kiss him. Edward nibbled on her lip and panted against her cheek. "Bella...cum for me Bella." She let go. Her body relaxed for just a moment before she tensed up again. Her knee snapped up and Edward grabbed it with his free hand. Her orgasm had hit and he was going to make it memorable. Her muscles closed around him and he could feel his release coming. He pressed into her as deep as he could go as he came. His own climax lasted longer than usual. He was sure that he emptied more into her than he ever had into anyone else. Her body was still twitching around him. Sweat had beaded on her forehead and her chest was heaving. Shit, I'm completely in love with him. "What?" he panted.

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"What?" "You said something?" Bella shook her head. "Too tired to speak." Edward laughed and caressed her cheek. "Am I hurting you?" "No," she whispered, "I'm fine." Reluctantly he pulled out. He was going to have to change the sheets for sure. Her fluids covered his penis and she had left a bit of a mess. He collapsed beside her and Bella curled up into him. "I can't believe we just did that." "I know," he panted, "do you love me?" "I think so," she murmured, just as breathless, "I'm something with you that's all I know. You're always on my mind." "Sleep now," he whispered, "you're so tired." Bella nodded and snuggled into his arms. Edward kissed the top of her head and closed his eyes. --"Have either of you seen Bella?" Esme asked as she served breakfast to Jasper and Carlisle. "Oh I'm sure she's fine," Jasper said with a grin, "don't you worry your pretty little head." "What did I miss last night?" Carlisle asked. "If that brat did something to her I swear I'll pound him." "Oh he did something alright," Jasper snorted. "Morning guys, I didn't know you were awake," Bella said as she walked into the kitchen. "Morning Bella," Esme said, "have breakfast. Where have you been?" "Couldn't sleep," she said taking the toast Esme gave her. Renee looked up at her and Jasper bit his lip. "Seriously what happened last night?" Carlisle demanded. "Bella why do you have bruises on your arm?" "Hm?" Bella looked at her upper arm. "Oh shoot." Jasper kept his attention on his blood and Carlisle looked irritated. "Morning," Edward said as he came in. His eyes lingered on Bella who blushed and went to her toast. Jasper was trying not to laugh and Carlisle was looking between the two. "So where were you last night?" Esme asked. "I didn't hear you get up."

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"I just went out and thought things over and realized that I was being stupid and I overreacted." "And I apologized so don't give me that look Carlisle." "I just want to know why Jasper can't stop giggling." Edward turned a fiery glare towards his brother. "Alright but where were you this morning?" Esme pressed. "I wanted her to stay with me last night," Edward said. "Oh my god you two had sex!" Carlisle cried. A thick and fairly uncomfortable silence fell upon the kitchen. Only Jasper's stifled snickering could be heard. Bella hand sunk in her seat and was about as read as the blood in the vampire's bowls. Edward looked uncomfortable because she was and Esme was in shock. Renee was just silent. She looked at her daughter with an unreadable expression. Edward could make out the pain in her thoughts. He figured it must be hard on her, both of her daughters were in love with their vampire masters. But then her angry glare turned on him and he raised on eyebrow. He dared her to challenge him. "Mom I agreed to it," Bella said, "he asked me several times if I was okay and I told him that I would let him know if I was hurt." "You have bruises on your arms!" "That's actually common," Esme said, "vampires tend to get a little carried away." "I know plenty about vampires getting carried away," Renee growled, "I have work to do. I suspect you need new sheets." "Mom I can get those," Bella said. "Don't start with me Isabella." Bella watched helplessly as her mother left angrily and as Alice came in. "Morning Esme," she said in a cheery voice, "Edward, Carlisle," she said nodding to each of them. She didn't verbally greet Jasper but he kissed her hand and she kissed his cheek. "Esme can you help me get the towels?" "Certainly," Esme murmured. They left and Esme gave Bella an apologetic look. "She didn't know you were in here," Edward assured her. "Right, she can smell me and hear my voice. She's pissed." Edward put a hand on her back and she shrugged away. She got up and left. Jasper let out the laughs he was holding and Carlisle gave Edward a look. "What?!" he cried.

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"You had better be careful with her," he warned, "she's like a daughter to me." "Speaking of have you taken your daughter to school yet?" Edward asked, his voice sour. "Haha yes, nice try smarty pants." --"If you know what's good for you you won't bother me," Alice snapped. "I think you hear as well as they do," Bella said sitting across from her sister. Alice folded another towel and set it aside. "Can I help?" "This is the one job I can do, step off." "Alice are you really still mad at me?" Alice threw a towel at her. It missed by a couple feet. Bella reached back and picked it up. She folded it and set it aside. "Talk to me." "What's there to talk about?" Alice asked angrily, "about how my sister was going to run away on her own? How she was going to do something that would not only separate us but possibly get her killed or worse?" "Alice I didn't mean..." "No, you know what, this isn't the world according to you! You're such a brat!" "I got angry and lost my temper! You know me I'm a hot head! I got scared and..." "What if Carlisle hadn't been there to order Esme to drag you to bed? What if they had really kicked you out? You don't think of anything besides yourself sometimes! I love you so much but I can't take this!" Bella went up to her sister but Alice pushed her back. "Did you know that Jasper asked me to run away with him? Bella I love him more than I have loved anybody before and I know without a doubt he is my heart and soul. But I told him I wouldn't leave because I can't leave you. It's nice to know that you were ready to run out just like that." Bella jumped when Alice slapped her hands together. She walked up and hugged Alice tight. "Let go of me!" "I'm sorry, you know I am. Alice please I hate it when you're angry with me." "Bella we aren't kids anymore. One of these days you'll have to grow up." Alice pulled from her arms and walked off. Bella sank to the floor and hugged her knees. She felt a cool arm around her shoulders.

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"Did you know about that?" she asked. "Yes," Edward murmured, "I can read their minds remember." "Is she going to forgive me?" Bella asked, rubbing her eye with the heel of her palm. "Oh I'm sure of it," he murmured, helping her stand, "Carlisle and I are the same way. We fight and stay mad and then forgive each other. It's how brothers and sisters work." "Why did you have to be a vampire?" Bella asked. "Well someone has to be strong enough to get you out of trouble," Edward teased lightly. Bella held him lightly around the middle and sighed into his chest. "I love you." "I love you too," she sighed softly. She felt him kiss the top of her head and sway a little. "Uh oh," he murmured. He pushed away from her. "He's back." --Lord Cullen surveyed his sons. Bella remembered this from the first time she saw him. She stood with Esme, Renee and Alice. Lord Cullen scolded Carlisle for not spending time with his wife. He praised Rosalie for her successful completion of a doctorate and kissed his little grandchild. He praised Jasper on his successful completion of the military program and encouraged him to keep up the good work in his final year. He insulted Edward's ability to keep a girlfriend. "Why do we have so many useless humans?" he asked loudly. "That one can't even see. And how old is that one?" He pointed to Alice and Renee in turn. "Renee is about thirty five," Carlisle answered, "and Alice is still able to do chores." Lord Cullen snorted. "Like what? A paper weight?" "She is kept busy, father, so you don't have to worry," Jasper said firmly. "Hm. Well, I'll determine that later. Edward have you learned to control your human?" "Yes, sir," Edward said. "Good. Keep it up. Esme how are the preparations for the ball coming?" "I have made all of the necessary calls," Esme said stepping forward, "the orchestra will arrive at two and when you are through with us we are going to arrange the flowers and other decorations." "Excellent. It still amazes me that there is a competent human. Any problems?" "We had to change the catering company," Esme said. "What?! Why?!"

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"They cancelled last minute. His wife went into labor." "Well he isn't having the baby!" Lord Cullen barked. "I want him on the phone right now." "Sir we do have backups," Esme reminded him. "I don't care I want this night to be perfect! Get him on the phone and bring it to my study." Everyone could practically taste the anger in the room Lord Cullen left behind. Edward looked over at Bella who gave him a very weak smile. She reached over and took Alice's hand, delighted when she squeezed it back. "Are you still mad at me?" Bella asked. "I couldn't stay mad at you if I tried," Alice sighed, "geez I can't even see the puppy pout." Bella hugged her and she smiled, stroking her hair. "Oh Alice I love you!" "I love you too," Alice said gently. --Jasper was nervous. It radiated off of him that's how nervous he was. Edward noticed as he walked in. "Do you want me to crack a window? You've made it completely stuffy in here." "You do realize that tonight I am going to be named father's heir and my supposedly new relationship with Tanya..." "Kate." "Kate...really?" "Yeah, Tanya said she doesn't want to be with you. Tough break not being able to snag the loosest girl in town." "Yeah, yeah, so tell me how was having sex with the loosest girl in town?" Edward glared and Jasper smirked. "At least Kate is better." "You're missing the point," Jasper sighed as he straitened his military uniform. "The only reason I am giving into this charade is because father said he was going to kill Alice if I didn't." Edward raised his eyebrows, "this isn't a charade. This is real. You're going to be engaged to her and you will have to one day marry her." "Things change," Jasper assured him with a grin. Edward looked at his brother strangely. "What in the world do you mean?" "Nothing, nothing, hand me my hat."

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Edward did so silently. His brother's mind was a buzz. Literally. Jasper was thinking of a bee. --"I wish I could see how handsome he looks," Alice sighed. "Bella can you tell me?" "He's wearing olive green. You know the military uniforms? It's one of those." "Oh I bet he looks so handsome." "He cut his hair." "What! I loved his long hair," Alice pouted. Bella gave her shoulders a squeeze. "I hope you can pull through this disappointment." Alice pushed her sister playfully and sighed. She turned away from the celebration where Lord Cullen was giving a grand speech about how proud he was of his son and how he could think of nobody better suited to take the reins of his legacy when he passed. "He's obligated to things now," Alice said sadly as they sat down in the servants quarters. "To marry and to have a son in which he will name Carlisle Cullen the eighteenth." "If I ever have a child I'm going to name her Bella the second and a half." Alice giggled but it was short and barely cheerful. She at least realized that her sister was trying. "I told him that it's over," she mumbled. "What?!" "Will you keep your voice down?" Alice hissed. "Now Bella what was I supposed to do? I couldn't keep a hold of him for the rest of his life or mine. He needs to do what he always wanted before I came along." "No he needs to stay with you..." "So his father can use me against him? Rip out something else like perhaps my voice box or my ears? Hell why not my heart? Bella this is the way things have to be." "But why do they have to be this way?" Bella asked taking Alice's hand and holding it tight. "Because we are human," she said sadly, "we don't get happy endings." --Jasper looked over the crowd. His military brothers were there with their dates and all of high society was there. Carlisle stood with his wife (whose name he kept forgetting) and Rosalie stood with Emmett. She seemed sour but was managing to hide it well. At least Jasper could take pleasure in his least favorite sibling's dismay. The king was sitting in the back of the room on a small throne. He should be overflowing with pride and joy but he wasn't. He kept his face a stoic mask. Not that it was hard.

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Edward watched with pain in his eyes. His brother was absolutely miserable. He saw the scene over and over again in his head. Alice telling him it was over and that he was to move on, and then leaving. It was too hard for him to watch so he tried as hard as he could to focus on another mind. Carlisle was nearest so he barged right in. Carlisle seemed aware of this however so he changed his train of thought to a soothing memory from their childhood. "It is also my great pleasure to announce the engagement of my son, Jasper, to Miss Kate Denali!" Everyone applauded and turned their attention to Kate who acted flustered but still beamed. When the speech wrapped up the ball began as Lord Cullen announced that the "happy couple" was going to share a waltz. Edward could hear Alice in the servants quarters with Bella and felt grateful for that. Even though she was blind it would most certainly hurt her too badly to hear the party. "Carlisle I want to dance," Sandra whined. Her voice is like nails on a chalkboard! Edward snorted at his brother's mental complaint. The doctor was dragged off by his wife and Edward shifted to stand near Esme. "God he looks miserable," she sighed. "Well they broke up this afternoon..." "No, Carlisle, but now that you mention it Jasper does too." "Oh, yeah, yeah Carlisle looks like he's in hell." They watched the dances. Jasper waltzed like the gentleman he was raised to be. Katie looked divine in his arms and just about as happy to be there as he was. At least she didn't seem to like the idea of an arranged marriage either. But they had always been friends so at least he wasn't going to be nearly as miserable as Carlisle who spent every available moment dodging his wife. "So why did Tanya bail?" Esme asked. "Who knows," Edward grumbled, "probably wanted a bondage slave or something." "Or something," Tanya sighed behind him. Edward closed his eyes and Esme scooted away from him. "Eddie I miss you." "I don't care," he sniffed. He tried to send mental messages out to his brothers to come and save him but no such luck. Each of them were occupied in some way. Some family. "Look are you still mad about that whole thing with that human girl?" "Lucky for you I am a gentleman and am above public displays of killing you," Edward growled. He left quickly and was annoyed when she followed. Though it was strange, this time last year he liked it when she followed. But then Bella came and he saw what a truly beautiful woman was. "You love her don't you? That human girl."

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"Tanya I just happen to believe that what you did to that girl was wrong. We've been over this." "Okay Edward I'll make this simple," she said tossing her hair, "I want to be tied to this family. I have the perfect leverage and you are the only brother left." "So why didn't you just agree to Jasper then?" Edward cried. Tanya smirked. "Because," she purred backing him up against the hallway wall, "when your father makes you marry, it'll be to me. Then on our honeymoon you'll fuck the girl who raped your little human." "My father..." Edward cut off mid-sentence. His father would most certainly force him to marry Tanya. Not only was she from a very good family but his father hated him. The old man would be giddy to see his youngest son in misery. "Sadistic old bastard," Edward grumbled too low for Tanya to hear. He pushed her away and marched off angrily and this time she didn't follow. He didn't stop until he reached the servants quarters. "I just don't know what to...mmf!" Bella was cut off mid-sentence by Edward's cold hard lips. Alice would have rolled her eyes but she settled for folding her arms and tapping her foot. "We have to leave," he murmured, "now. We have to leave forever." "Edward I can't just up and leave because you want me to." "You were going to when I didn't want you to!" he reminded her. "I was angry and not thinking clearly. I have my family here, you have your family here." "My family is about to include Tanya if we don't leave." Bella was silent and unmoving. She seemed to go into shock. --"Listen, Jasper, we're friends," Kate said leaning against the balcony rail, "and I know you don't want to do this. To tell you the truth I don't either." Jasper looked at her, "what?" "I'm in love with someone else and I know you are too, but we don't have a choice. I have a proposition for you." Jasper turned to face her fully. She turned and leaned with her back against the cement rail, propped up on her elbows. She tilted her head back and looked up at the stars. "We'll marry to make our parents happy. But I'm not dropping Garrett for you." "Garrett? The human boy you grew up with?" Jasper clarified in a low whisper. "Nobody will suspect if I bring him with me," Kate said, "and if you are willing to work with me, I won't get

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in the way of you and whoever it is you are in love with. I'm assuming she's either of lower status or of the human persuasion or you would have been allowed to be with her instead." Jasper nodded and Kate smiled. "So we have a deal then? We keep up a marriage to keep the vultures happy and after I punch out a son to get your father off our backs, we'll just be married friends." Jasper smiled. "I knew there was a reason I liked you." Kate grinned and tossed her light hair. "You've always been reasonable, Jazz, now I'm going to go back to the party." She did and Carlisle came out. He leaned against the rail and glared at Jasper. "I hate you so much." Jasper stuck out his tongue and went inside. He was about to rush to Alice and tell her the good news when Aro stood. The room fell silent as the king walked through the sea of people. They parted for him and bowed. He stopped before Lord Cullen. "General assemble your troops, Caius has declared war." TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to those who reviewed! Chapter 19, It was raining. Bella thought it was fitting and kinda cliche but the mood was certainly right. Lord Cullen had left with the king almost immediately and Jasper was to report to the palace the next morning. Carlisle, though a conscientious objector to the war, was to report by order of the king as well as he would be supervising the medical support. Their goodbyes were long and sorrowful. Carlisle held Esme tight for a long time. He kissed her hair and whispered softly in her ear. He hugged each of them in turn, and Anna jumped into his arms and begged him not to go. "Be good for Esme okay," he said. She nodded and he kissed her forehead. He passed her to Esme and leaned over to give her a goodbye kiss. Esme touched his cheek gently and let him pull away from her. Jasper's goodbyes were a bit more brief. Though he was able to manipulate any emotion he was still awkward when it came to things like this. He hugged Edward and Bella tight before turning to Alice. "When I return I'll be with you forever," he promised. He took her hand and slipped a ring onto her finger. Alice handed him a cloth and he smiled when he unfolded it to find a lock of dark hair. It was really all she could give him having nothing to begin with. Jasper tucked the cloth into his breast pocket. "I'll keep you with me always," he promised. Alice took the few steps into his arms and threw hers around his neck. She kissed him and he dropped all propriety and kissed long and deep in front of everyone. When they pulled away Alice looked like she was crying and he looked like it too. He kissed her forehead. "I'll come back to you." "I'll wait for you."

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Bella turned her head into Edward's side and tried so hard not to cry. He held her tight and watched as his brother and dear friend walked out into the rain. --News on the war became the highlight of everyone's day. Alice would listen desperately with Esme beside her for word that the troops were winning or coming home. But it was always the same. Aro's deep voice told them that their men were standing strong and they would triumph over Caius. Christmas had come and it was a somber occasion. Bella remembered decorating the mansion for a great party just a year ago. But this year they all sat around a tree, just the small family, and exchanged gifts. Carlisle had managed to make it back but Jasper was on the lines so he couldn't. He had sent along a gift for Alice that had consisted of a photograph and a broken necklace with a charm that had been destroyed but into the shape of a heart. "Alice, I found this while we were setting up camp. It was such an unusual shape for a destroyed necklace but it was charming in a way. I thought of you when I found it and thought you may like it. When I return I'll buy you a better one to replace it but until then this will have to do. All my love, Jasper." Carlisle read the letter to her while Alice felt the shape of the necklace. Renee helped her put it on and she smiled. "At least I know he's alive," she said. She gave an envelope for Carlisle to take home consisting of a letter that she had Edward write (since he knew what she was going to say anyway). After the gifts were exchanged Carlisle and Esme played Anna's brand new board game with her. Alice went off to rest with Renee and Edward took Bella's hand and led her upstairs. "I wanted to give you this in private," Edward said. He sat her down and went to his dresser. He dug through the clothes and found what he was looking for. He came back and slipped the small wrapped package into her hands. Bella unwrapped it. "What is it?" she asked, opening the cover of a small book. "Mom gave it to Carlisle when he was little and he passed it to me. It's what he used to learn reading." Bella smiled at him and opened to the first page. Edward pulled her back onto the bed and they curled up under the sheets while Edward taught her the basic words on the first page. "Okay now read the last line," Edward said. Bella cleared her throat. She looked to be concentrating on the sentence. "Edward needs to get laid." "What!" Bella laughed and Edward pounced on her. "Excuse me missy?" he growled playfully against her throat. "That's what the book said," Bella giggled. "I think it has a point. Besides, now I can give you your present." Edward liked the sound of that. He liked it even more when he was pushed onto his back and she showed him things he knew she should never know with her mouth. By the end he was panting on the bed and Bella was in his arms.

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"Merry Christmas," she whispered. Edward pushed up and onto her. "Very Merry Christmas indeed," he growled against her lips before taking her again. --The snow was melting. Alice sat on a bench in the garden gazing into nothing. She wore a sweater Esme forced her into and the necklace around her neck. "Hey, you must be her." Alice tilted her head up and felt someone sit beside her. "I can't see you," she said quietly. "Yeah I gathered, I'm Kate." "Jasper's fiance?" "Yeah," Kate said, "Jasper and I have been friends since we were young." "He told me about your...arrangement." "He's more like a brother than a husband. I'm worried about him." Alice looked down and twisted her fingers. "Me too. I haven't heard from him in a couple weeks." "They're trying to take the capitol. That's what my father tells me anyway. If they pull it off they'll end this war. So far the defenses have been lower, but that's Caius for you, he's obsessed with the offensive." "And if they don't?" Alice asked. "I'd rather not dwell on that," Kate admitted, "listen, all small talk aside I came because I wanted to tell you that I have absolutely no interest in Jasper's heart beyond what he can give as a friend. I apologize for waiting so long. He's lucky to have someone care about him so much. Even after, I can assume, his father tried to intervene." Alice nodded. "He was angry." "I barely remember Lord Cullen before his wife passed but he was so different. Now he's just hollow and dead inside. He doesn't want his sons to be happy." "You'd think it would be the other way around," Alice murmured sadly, "you'd think he would want them to feel the joy he felt once." "The heart dies a strange death," Kate sighed into the wind, "I'm afraid I must cut this visit short. But do take care of yourself, I don't want to be stuck with Jasper if he's lost you." "I will," Alice promised. Kate smiled and left. Alice went back to looking towards her hands. Jasper's face was still bright and vivid in her mind. His smile would comfort her quite often when she missed him. She wished she could see his smile again but there was only so much she could hope for. "Alice! Come inside quick!" Bella called.

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Alice stood and Bella took her hand. They ran inside together and Alice tried to figure out where she was being led to but she was going too fast to figure it. She could feel the linoleum under her feet and figured they were going to the servants quarters. "Bella? What's wrong?" Bella looked back at her sister, thankful for her inability to see otherwise she would be quite startled. She was going to have to deal with Edward when he returned from school and she didn't need two bad reactions. "Mom and I were attacked on our way back from the market." "You aren't allowed to go anymore," Alice said sharply, "bad things happen. Will Edward be angry?" "Not at us." "Is mom okay?" That's where Bella hesitated. "Bella! Answer me!" "Oh, there you are," Esme gasped as she came out, "she just fell asleep but she's in a great deal of pain. The doctor will be here in an hour at the latest." "An hour?!" "I'm sorry Bella but we have a shortage of doctors thanks to Caius." They had a shortage of a lot of things. Doctors and blood especially. Edward had switched to synthetic blood just to make it easier on them when they went shopping, which was usually while he was in school. "Bella? Alice?" Esme stepped aside and let them pass. The girls went in and knelt beside Renee's bed, one on each side. "We're here mom." "How bad?" Alice asked. "Later," Bella muttered. Renee looked bad. She had tried to shield Bella as best she could but there was only so much she could do. Bella had been horrified when it wasn't vampires who had attacked them, but humans. They were desperate to get blood for their masters. Things were more chaotic now. Bella had only been able to fight one of them before they were overpowered. Then it happened again. Or at least it almost did. Bella managed to escape a sexual assault by digging her knee deep into her assailant's crotch and Renee had punched hers directly in the adams apple. They were both injured but Renee was worse. Esme had done her best to stop the bleeding from her side. "I love you girls," she whispered touching their cheeks. "Alice finding you made our family complete. Bella would have been so lonely. You two have always been the best of friends and it warms my heart to see it." "Mom you'll be okay," Bella promised, "the doctor is coming and you'll be fine."

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"Your father's calling me precious," she whispered. "You'll be alright. You both will. You have two men that love you dearly and most importantly you have each other." "Mommy," Alice sobbed nuzzling into her mother's hand. "Alice I'm so proud of you baby girl, you've been so strong through losing your sight. And Bella, after everything that monster did to you you are still able to open your heart and trust someone...I was so angry at first but I didn't realize what was happening. They are different. You are different." "Mom stop talking like that," Bella ordered, "the doctor will be here and..." "Charlie's waiting for me," Renee whispered. "I just needed to tell you girls how much I love you both and how happy I am to have seen you once more." "Mommy don't go!" they sobbed into her shoulder. Renee kissed both of their heads and closed her eyes. Charlie's face appeared in her mind and she felt peaceful. She let go. Bella cried harder into her mother's chest and Alice seemed to go into shock. --When Edward came home he knew something was wrong. He searched for any signs of life and when he didn't find any he got nervous. He went out back and found three scents going off into the woods. There was fresh dirt in a mound just beyond the edge and then the scents scattered. Edward followed Bella's and found her sitting in the hallway, having stopped in the middle of her chores. The laundry basket was overturned and his shirts were spilling out. "Bella?" She looked up at him and he growled when he saw her. Her right eye was covered with a massive bruise and her lip was cut. "What happened?" He asked sharply. "Attacked...market...laundry." "Bella!" She looked up with a lifeless expression in her eyes. Edward helped her stand and he cradled her gently against his body. "What happened?" he asked gently. "Was he a vampire?" "No...human...mom..." Edward didn't need to hear anymore. The fresh dirt and Bella's state of shock clicked and he hugged her tight. "I'm so sorry Bella." She dissolved into silent tears into his chest and he stroked her hair gently. He gathered her into his arms and carried her to his room. He laid her down and then held her. He stroked her hair and kissed her forehead from time to time. Bella cried until she couldn't anymore. She had fallen into an uneasy slumber in his arms. Esme was dwelling on it. Everything from when Bella and Renee returned to the girls emerging from their room in tears was cycling through like a bad movie. She was trying to concentrate on what she had to get done

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but that wasn't going to well. Edward knew that if Carlisle had been here he would have been able to fix Renee up instantly. Hell if he had been there there would have been a difference. Bella was crying in her sleep. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks and she tightened her hold around him. Esme was going to check on Alice. Edward watched her carefully through her mind, ready to help at any moment. But the blind girl was laying on Jasper's bed, her usual place when she was upset. Edward wondered briefly if she could still smell him on the pillows or the sheets. Probably not because they were frequently washed, but it was possible. He heard Esme come in quietly. Edward held a finger to his lips and pointed to Bella. Are you hungry? He shook his head no. Esme nodded and left. Edward looked back at Bella and she was awake. "Did I wake you?" he asked. Bella shrugged and snuggled against him. She tilted her head up and kissed him lightly. Edward was a little surprised but he didn't pull away. "What do you want me to do to you?" she asked. "Um nothing at the moment," Edward murmured. He was on his back and she was over him. "What's wrong?" She kissed him again. Edward held her lightly around the waist and kissed her back. "You're vulnerable right now," he said. "I need intimacy right now," she whispered. Edward nodded. "Please Edward," she whispered. "Alright baby," he whispered. --Bella sighed into his chest. She felt full and a little happy. Edward's arms were tight around her and his lips occasionally brushed against her head. She still loved the way it felt when they laid together after sex. His body was always a little warmer and she loved the way their bodies fit together. She slipped her leg between his and he smiled. He held her hand and kissed it. "How are you love?" he whispered. "I feel safe," she answered in the same soft whisper, "I always feel safe with you." Tanya hadn't been able to talk to Lord Cullen before the war so he was in the clear for now. But sooner or later she was going to get his attention and then Edward would have to make a choice. He could live as her husband with Bella as the other woman or run away with her. But therein lies the problem. Bella was never going to leave her sister, especially now that their mother had passed. He could appeal to his father. Remind him that instead of marrying him to another Denali, it would be in the better interest of the family if he married another high status woman. But that would mean he would just have to get married to another woman. It would buy time at least but nothing more than that.

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It was the one time that Edward wished that Bella had been an only child. --Edward loved his humans and his niece dearly but he needed male companionship. There were only so many tea parties he could attend before he lost it. Bella was absolutely delighted. She thought it was hilarious that he was sitting at the little table with her and Anna with a big flowered hat. "Would you like more tea?" Anna asked him holding up the little plastic tea pot. "Oh no dear, I'm still working on mine." "More tea Bella?" "Oh yes please," Bella said, smiling as Anna poured her some air. "This is delicious!" "See uncle Edward this is how you play tea party!" "Yeah Edward." "Oh you two can stop that right now," Edward grumbled. "You're right," Anna sighed, "it is time for something else." She jumped up and went to her toy box. She came back with some dolls and handed one to Edward. He looked at the overly happy Ken doll in his hand and sighed. Bella giggled and took the Barbie that she was handed. "Daddy got me the dream house for Christmas so we'll play with that," Anna said. She walked over to the massive doll house that was almost taller than she was and twice as long. Edward sighed and played with her until she fell asleep. When she finally did Edward lifted her up and carried her to the pink canopy bed that had been moved in for her. He cradled her in one arm and pulled back the thick quilts and set her in them. He tucked the blankets around her shoulders and kissed her forehead. "Goodnight princess," he whispered. Anna yawned and turned in her sleep, pulling a stuffed polar bear into her arms. Bella smiled at Edward and he walked out with her. "You miss your brother's don't you?" "You have no idea," Edward groaned, "I love you all dearly but I need testosterone." Bella giggled and held his hand. "Why don't you call Emmett?" "He's been swamped. He had to take over his father's company starting last week. Lord McCarty is getting way too old to be in business." "How old is he?" "Pushing one fifty," Edward answered, "the guy sleeps every three hours but he's so damn stubborn. We

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expect he'll pass in a few months, a year at the most. He knows it to, he's training Emmett to run things. His older brother recently died in the war and he was the heir. That's why Emmett took Rosalie's name, because our family has the higher standing. It'll be changed now though. With only two sons left. Father will be thrilled." The last comment was said with a bit of bitterness. "Why will he be so upset?" "Well Carlisle is disappointing and I'm...well you know that much. Jasper's lucky he has other relatives, or rather my father is. He has an uncle with seven sons in area three. They still keep in touch every once in a while but Jasper doesn't like him. He's a little strange. It's all about carrying on the family name." "That's sad," Bella murmured, "is it like that for all vampires?" "Not so much in middle class anymore. Some of the old traditions are still kept, such as the bowing and what not to higher class. There are only a few people in the kingdom that my brothers and I have to bow to. The king, obviously and his family, and a few nobles. There are about twenty families left in the warrior class and about five that are elite. It's complicated and kind of boring. But onto more important matters, how are you feeling?" "What do you mean?" Bella asked. "It's been a few weeks..." "I'm fine," Bella murmured. "I mean I miss her. I miss her a lot. But it's hard to be sad when I know that she's finally at peace. Her life was so miserable and so full of pain. She's been miserable since dad died. I mean you don't get over losing your soulmate." "I haven't seen you cry much or anything, I just don't want you to bottle it up and break down later." Bella stopped and Edward took a few steps before turning to look at her. She reached up and hugged him around the neck. Edward hugged her back and smoothed her hair. "I'll be fine. I've never really been the crying type. I think it's because I see mom being here as a gift. I mean you didn't have to bring her here. You could have just left her. But I got to spend an extra year with her." "How are you so strong?" Edward asked. "It took years for Carlisle to recover from mom's death." Bella pulled away and took his hand again. "I'm also from a species that dies early." "Renee wasn't exactly young was she?" "I don't know," Bella said with a shrug, "she didn't keep track of time. She and my dad had very rough guesses about how old they were. I don't even know for sure how old I am." "Seriously?! You're saying I could be having sex with a thirteen-year-old?!" Bella laughed, "possible but highly unlikely. To guess I'm probably about sixteen or seventeen. Mom was about fifteen, give or take, when she had me. Dad was much older than her. He guessed his age to be at least fifty just before he died. It's easier for us girls, we have a period to remind us that we're somewhere between thirteen and fifty." Edward laughed and Bella rolled her eyes.

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"Well how would you keep track of time when you're underground smarty pants?" she asked. Edward turned and pulled her up into his arms. "Aw I'm sorry," he cooed. "Oh stop you're such a brat," Bella sighed, trying not to giggle. Edward kissed her neck and tickled her lightly. She laughed and he smiled. He shifted her so that he was carrying her bridal style and kissed her lips. "Hey, remember when I said I always get what I want and you laughed at me?" "That sounds like something I'd do," Bella shrugged. Edward grinned and kissed her cheek. "How about you and I spend some...quality...time together?" "What do you suggest?" Edward kissed her and took her to bed. He pulled off her clothes and she giggled. Right away he went between her legs and began to lick her slowly. Bella gasped and Edward chuckled. "Bella, let's have some fun," he whispered. "Oh...kay..." He gathered her up into his arms and jumped out of his window. Bella squealed and held him tighter. Edward laughed and ran through the woods. He ran up a hill and came to a meadow at the top. He set her down on the warm soft grass and came down over her. "You're seriously going to have sex with me outside?" she gasped. "Absolutely," Edward groaned against her neck. Bella shrugged. The grass beneath her was soft and warm. There was a nice gentle breeze and Edward looked absolutely stunning in the sunlight. He looked like an angel that had come to earth just for her. His mouth was strong over hers and he held her gently. He shed his clothes and laid naked beside her. "You're getting better at this," he praised, "you know just how to move." Sexually Bella was right where he wanted her to be. She was still so tight and warm and she would still blush, but she was confident and she knew what drove him wild. She knew that nipping on his skin gave him delightful chills and it tickled when she brushed her thumb over his nipples. She didn't mind when he bit her, but it wasn't her favorite activity and because she hadn't been given the injection to keep her blood supply up he couldn't drink from her very often. She was also sexy. Incredibly sexy. It's like somehow she knew how to mix that with painfully adorable. She was doing it right then. She laid on the soft grass with her long dark hair curling around her neck and shoulders. Her lips were parted and swollen from kissing. One hand was at her chest and her delicate fingers were resting lightly over her nipple. The other hand was down by the soft tuft of dark curls between her legs. "What is it?" she asked in a soft whisper as Edward watched her. He slowly took in her body. He looked from her small breasts down her the soft curve of her abdomen and followed her long slender legs. One her knees was bent up slightly and Edward leaned down. He kissed her knee and ran his fingers along her calf muscle.

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"Sometimes I can't believe that you actually said yes to me." Bella smiled and moved. She knelt on her knees and took his hand. She kissed his lips gently. Edward brought her into his lap. She let him shift her and he helped her slip comfortably onto him. "I love being in you," he whispered, "you're still so warm and so tight." She looked down at him. Her hair fell over one shoulder and her arms rested loosely around his neck. "I'm so happy you picked me." Edward kissed her neck lightly. He propped himself up with one arm and the other wrapped around her waist. He moved his hips slowly at first, letting her adjust. He picked up speed and set into a nice rhythm. Bella let her head fall back and she tightened her hold on him. Edward leaned over and kissed her chest. He licked her nipples and bit lightly earning a gasp. Her hand found it's way into his hair and he kept playing with her breasts. He grunted as he moved faster and she moaned in response. "Edward...so amazing...mmm." "Baby I love you," he moaned against her skin, "I love you so much." Her breath was coming in gasps and he loved that. She tiled her head to the side and pulled her hair away. It was the sign to him that she was willing to let him bite her. He kissed her neck and felt her delicious pulse. It beat against his lips and it was like liquid fire. He licked her skin once, letting his venom touch her skin. The skin cooled slightly and he bit her. Bella cried out and he drew on the cut. Her sweet blood coated his tongue and throat. Her arm locked around his shoulders and her hand tightened in his hair. He came into her and felt her body climax around him. He pulled back and pulled out of her before falling back onto the grass. Bella laid beside him and kissed his chest. "Well done," she sighed happily. Edward laughed and hugged her. "Though I'm going to steal your shirt for the ride back." --"What's wrong?" Alice asked instantly as Bella stumbled back into the room. "I think I got sick from going out with Edward last night," Bella sighed falling back into her cot. "Where did you go?" "Into the woods. It was kind of chilly and I think I caught something." "There has definitely been a bug going around. Jess is sick too." "Watch yourself then," Bella said, "god knows I can't stand you getting sick." "You can't stand it?! Who in the world is going to take care of you if I get sick?" "Oh low blow," Bella laughed. Alice laughed too and reached for her hand.

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"When will this war end?" "I heard they took the capitol today, so it should be over soon," Bella said, "Jasper will come home and you two can get back to normal." Alice smiled sadly. "I miss him so much. His last letter seems like it was forever ago." "I'm sure he's just been too busy to write, but I am sure that he misses you terribly." Alice smiled and sighed. "Are you girls warm enough?" Esme asked as she walked in. They both nodded and Esme bid them goodnight. "Oh and Bella, if I find out you threw up or anything and you didn't tell me I'll keep you in bed." "I threw up," Bella admitted quickly. "I'll ask Edward to get you some medicine tomorrow. Jess, how are you feeling?" "Nnn," Jess moaned from the other side of the room. Bella groaned she hated being sick. Esme fussed over her and took her temperature. "You're a little warm but you don't have a fever just yet. Don't think I didn't see you two going off this afternoon. He knows better than to keep you out when it's chilly." "It wasn't that cold," Bella grumbled. "Yes well you're getting sick and you don't need to be outside. Probably a lot of stress too. Either way if your temperature goes up I will keep you in bed do you understand?" --Edward smiled when he heard Bella murmur his name in her sleep. He was about to settle in for a nice long listen when he heard thundering footsteps. He rushed downstairs just as the door burst open and his father stormed in with Carlisle behind him. "Hey welcome home what's going on?" Edward asked. He took a step towards the two but Lord Cullen grabbed his shoulder. "Get the hell out of my way!" he snarled throwing his son out of the way. Edward stumbled a little after going through the wall. "BREAK ANOTHER WALL AND I'LL BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF YOU!" "What's going on?" Esme asked as she came out. Lord Cullen snagged her neck and gripped it. "None of your damn business," he threw Esme down to the ground and Carlisle rushed to her. "What...!" Carlisle shook his head and Lord Cullen stormed up the stairs. Carlisle's head shot up in that moment and he ran up the stairs. He flew past his angry father and scooped his curious daughter up before she could get in his way. He went down the back stairs and spilled Anna into a chair.

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"What's going on?" Alice asked coming in, "whose all here?" "Our father is home and you'd do best to stay away from him," Carlisle told her in a cold voice. "Esme are you alright? Edward?" "I'm fine," Esme answered. "Me too. Carlisle..." They all winced when they heard a angry roar and something shattered. "We're leaving," Carlisle said, "now, Edward pack your things and I'll help the girls. Annie love, please be good for Alice and Bella." "Kay," she said, noting that her daddy was in serious voice mode. "Carlisle, please, tell us what's going on," Edward said, "I can't read your thoughts. Is the war over?" "Almost, we took the capitol and Caius is in custody." "Then why..." Edward trailed off when he saw the explosions in Carlisle's mind. "Carlisle?" Esme asked timidly. "Jasper didn't make it," he said quietly, "killed by Caius's general." They heard the tinkle of breaking glass and blood splattered on the sparkling clean linoleum. Carlisle dashed over and caught Alice as she fainted. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 20, "Alice, Alice, please wake up," Bella cried softly shaking her shoulders. "I am awake," Alice mumbled, "have been for a while." "Then why didn't you answer me?!" Bella cried. "Jasper...I can't believe...this can't be real." "Are we leaving?" Esme asked when Carlisle came in. "Father has completely forbid any of us to leave. Except Jess who was to be sent over to my place anyway. Sandra is coming to pick her up. Bella she is in shock and needs rest so please, I know you're worried, but please leave her for a while."

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"But I..." "Listen to me dear," Carlisle said putting his hands on Bella's shoulders, "I know you're worried about her but right now I need you to give her some space. I want her to sleep okay." Bella nodded and Carlisle ruffled her hair. "I don't like this plan." "I know you don't, but it's what has to be done. How about you go keep Anna company. I'm sure she'd like to play with dolls or something." "Yeah Bella I want to play dolls," Anna chirped. She hopped down and grabbed Bella's hand. "Let's go!" Bella nodded and followed her up the stairs to her room. They settled in her room and Anna handed her a doll. They were going to play dress up with them. Anna opened up a small wardrobe that held her doll's clothes. "You can brush her hair," she said handing Bella a small brush. "Why is your sister so upset?" "She's sad because she misses Master Jasper," Bella said. "I think Uncle Jazzy loves her," Anna said, putting a dress on her doll. "I wish I had a sister." "Well maybe you'll get one some day," Bella said. "You and Alice are close." "All we had was each other when we were little. We didn't really have toys or games so we had to pretend a lot." "Daddy likes to play pretend with me," she said feeding her baby doll a bottle and rocking it in her arms. "Did your daddy play pretend with you?" "Not as much," Bella murmured as she looked at the baby doll in her hands, "my daddy liked to tell us stories." "Do you miss your daddy?" "Very much. He died a year ago." "I was scared that my daddy was going to die," Anna mumbled. Bella put the doll aside and Anna crawled into her lap. They had grown quite fond of each other over the year. Anna rested her head against her chest and Bella smoothed her gold curls. "I want him to tuck me in but he's so busy right now. When will Uncle Jazzy be back?" "I don't know sweetie," Bella murmured. "How about we go get your daddy. Would you like that?" Anna nodded. Bella stood up and balanced her on her hip and went out into the hall. Anna was sleepy. Her head was resting on Bella's shoulder and her breathing was leveling out. She kissed her forehead and Anna smiled. Even though most of them grew up to be selfish jerks, vampires were adorable as children. "So she's been fine then?" Carlisle asked Esme. Bella walked into the kitchen and they looked over at her.

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"Daddy I want you to tuck me in a tell me a story," Anna said. "You do huh?" Carlisle asked gently. He stood and took her from Bella. "Well let's see what I can do about that." "Yay!" Anna cheered as she hugged him tight. Carlisle chuckled and kissed her cheek. "Come on beautiful let's go tuck you in." "He's going to have to tell her soon," Esme said sadly when Bella sat with her. Her eyes were red and puffy. Bella understood, after all Esme had practically raised Jasper as well. She dabbed her eyes again and grabbed the bowl Carlisle had been using. She washed it out and then began doing some unnecessary cleaning. "Could you go check on Edward for me?" Bella nodded and went upstairs. She went to Edward's room and knocked softly. "Come in." Bella entered and saw him laying on his bed in the dark. "Are you okay?" "Why did it have to be him?" Edward asked. Bella crawled onto the bed with him and pulled him near. "He's my best friend. We've always been together!" Bella stroked his hair lightly and listened to him rant and cry. She was patient with him and waited until he had talked himself into silence. He pulled the covers back and brought them over the two of them, effectively deciding it was time to sleep. Bella knew that in his pain he wanted the same intimacy she had desired when her mother died, but with his father in the house he didn't dare risk it. So he was going to hold her tight. He kissed her. It was a rough kiss that Bella didn't enjoy as much but she wasn't going to stop him. He wasn't going to do anything too serious. He held her desperately and sobbed into the kiss. She had to stop him when he almost crushed her. --Days seemed like weeks. Jasper's funeral was being postponed due to Lord Cullen and his refusal to continue. Alice was mute, walking around the house like a zombie. She went about her chores silently in a strange fluid movement. Each night she would cry herself to sleep and each morning she woke to face another day. She held on for her sister. Or at least Bella hoped she would. But as the sun rose on a misty morning Bella had another problem. She was bringing Edward his breakfast (he was still moping about in his room) and she was almost to his door when another wave of dizziness came over her. She shook it off as she had before and went in. "Morning," she murmured. Edward looked up. "Bells? Are you alright you're so pale." Bella was about to reply with a casual I'm fine but she couldn't. Instead her knees gave out and she fell. Edward jumped up and rushed to her. "Bella! Bella are you alright?!" "F-fine...dizzy..."

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She turned her head and coughed and everything she ate for breakfast came out. She got onto her knees and coughed again. Edward held her hair and rubbed her back. He helped her stand and took her into his bathroom where he washed her face with cool water. He dashed out of the room and returned with a glass that he filled with water. "Drink," he ordered. Bella did and she drank yet another glass that he gave her. "When Carlisle gets off work I'll have him come and take a look at you. He should be done any time now. Until then why don't you take a hot shower, I'll bathe you if you'd like." "No, I'm fine, just tired." "Bella you smell like a foot." "I appreciate your honesty," she grumbled. "Seriously were you sweating all night?" "Yeah. It's probably a bug. Thanks a ton Jess." Edward chuckled and pulled her clothes off. "I'll start the shower for you." Bella nodded and sat on the floor with her back against the cool tile. Edward gathered bathing supplies and wondered briefly if soap for a vampire was too harsh for a human's skin. Thinking he'd rather not risk it he left to get her some. Bella noted his normal pace and wondered if it was to give her time to get ready. Though what she had left to do he didn't know. She sighed and paced the bathroom glancing at the wall and noticing a calendar just outside. She grumbled wondering where the time had gone. She went to wash her hands after she noticed she had some vomit on them. But when she squeezed some of the hand soap into her palm the smell made her sick. She bent over the sink and hurled again. Frantic she looked back at the calendar. The month was almost over. She put her hand on her stomach her skin felt different. Harder somehow. She looked down and saw a curve. But that wasn't possible. The curve looked similar to the one Rosalie had when she was pregnant. But that couldn't be right. She was a human for crying out loud! How in the world could she be pregnant when the only sex she had was with Edward, a vampire. There had been enough sex between humans and vampires to prove that there most certainly was no way to reproduce. If there was surely by now Esme would have had a baby, or Alice or Renee or... Bella trailed off mid-thought. She didn't even notice Edward return. "Bella?" She was a pure human. Esme, Alice and Renee had all been given a shot or a pill to make their blood replenish quicker but was it possible that it also contained a birth control? Was that even possible? "Bells you're scaring me," Edward said. "I need to see Carlisle," she said.

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"I realize you aren't feeling well. I called him and he said he'd be here in a while. He told me that a bath was a good idea and then it's off to bed." "I'm not sick," she said, "at least...I don't think I am." "What are you talking about?" Edward asked. Bella put her hand on her stomach again and she could swear something moved. But that wasn't possible. Was it? After all she was very uneducated. All she knew about pregnancy, babies and reproduction in general could fit on the head of a pin with much room to spare. All she knew was that if she didn't bleed in a month's time then something was wrong. "Something moved..." "Are you going to be sick again? I see you made a mess in the sink." "After I smelled the soap. I was sick after I smelled the cleaner that Esme uses and that air freshener you use in your room." "Aw I thought you'd like pine," Edward mumbled. Bella remembered her mother telling her stories about when she was pregnant and the smell of the pine trees around them would make her sick in the early months. "Only certain smells...I'm throwing up...something moved in me..." "Bella you're human." She grabbed Edward's hand and pressed it against her stomach. He looked at her questioningly for a brief moment before touching her stomach with his other hand. He pressed lightly on her skin and then again on her chest, there was a distinct difference in the feel of the skin as well as the strength. "This can't be real." He felt it move. Or something anyway. Quickly he dressed her and took her hand. He pulled her out of the room and into the hall just as Carlisle was reaching the top of the stairs. "Ah, Edward I know you're worried but dragging her along like a rag doll won't help anything." "Is it possible for a human to get pregnant from a vampire?" Edward asked. "No. There has never been a case of it." "There is something in her. Something moving. Feel her skin, Carlisle, look at the bump! The bump!" Carlisle apologized briefly before pulling Bella's shirt up and looking at her stomach. He touched her stomach lightly. The skin was soft and warm but there was something hard below it. He too felt the movements and pulled his hand back like it had been burned. "There's no way...no possible way I mean Alice and Jasper...Esme and I....her mother..."

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"I was never given an injection or a pill," Bella said quietly. "That's the only difference between me and them." Carlisle's eyes lit up. He dashed to his study and the two had nothing better to do than follow. He searched quickly through his books and pulled two of them down. He flipped through the pages and stopped. He muttered to himself as he read. "progestin," he muttered. He grabbed the other book and flipped through it. "Same here." "What are you going on about?" Edward grumbled "In english if you can manage it." "Progestin prevents ovulation and is also used in the injection when mixed with other chemicals it helps blood reproduce. The injection is also an unknown form of birth control. The chemical doesn't work on vampires so no connection was made. It is very possible that Bella is pregnant." "Are you saying that I impregnated my human girlfriend?" Edward asked. "I'm saying it is very possible. Bella have you been having strange dreams lately? Cravings for certain foods? Nausea around smells?" "Yes to all three." "I will be keeping a close eye on you. Edward I want you to go to the market and get several bottle of O blood. That's your blood type if I'm not mistaken." "Yep," Edward agreed. "Do I need to get anything else?" "Not quite yet. I don't want to give her anything we would give a pregnant vampire because her system is different. But I'm assuming the reason she's been so weak and pale is because she has a small blood sucking creature in her." Edward's eyes widened and he left in a flash. "You mean right now not only am I pregnant but the baby or whatever is drinking my blood?!" Carlisle nodded. "I can't be sure exactly as there are no cases on this, but yes that is about right. Vampires will drink extra amounts of blood when they are pregnant. Not much usually but as you are human your baby will take the nourishment from your blood instead of food. So this is a precaution." --Edward returned quickly. He tipped the bottles onto the kitchen table as Esme and Alice came in. "Oh, Edward dear if you wanted us to get you more blood you could have just said something." He opened a bottle and put it in the microwave. He poured it into a glass and pushed it into Bella's hands. "This stuff smells revolting!" "It's quite delicious," Edward told her. "Why is Bella drinking blood?" Esme asked. Alice made a face.

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"Is this absolutely necessary?" Bella asked Carlisle. "Oh geez it was easier to get Anna to drink! Now stop being such a baby!" Bella looked at the thick red liquid. "So is this the synthetic stuff." "What answer will get you to drink it?" Carlisle asked, clearly getting a little annoyed. "You just have to appeal to her feminine side," Edward said, "Bella if you don't drink the blood the baby will drink your blood and you will die and then it will die and I will be forced to kill myself do you want that?" Bella glowered at him. "Baby?! What in the world?!" "It would seem that the blood formula that you humans are given when bought works as a birth control. Edward assumed that there was no way for a human to get pregnant from a vampire and..." "Edward Cullen I told you that if you were going to have sex you were to wear a rubber!" Bella closed her eyes and raised the glass to her lips. She took one drink and opened her eyes. "This isn't that bad." "Told you," Edward muttered. Bella took another drink and was surprised to find that she was actually feeling better. "Esme I think her diet should consist of regular food for her and O blood for the baby. I'd like to stick as close to her blood type as possible." "I understand," Esme said, "at least, I think I do." Bella finished her blood and Esme cleaned out the glass. By this time Edward was getting past the shock and beginning to feel things about the pregnancy. "Can her body handle this?" he asked. "Can you take it out if you need to?" "We'll just have to see," Carlisle said, "Bella it will be up to you if you want me to take it out." "No," Bella said shrilly, "no, this isn't a tumor! It's a baby...my baby...nope nope nope not going to happen." "Bella..." "No, absolutely no. Conversation over." "I can't believe this is real," Alice murmured. She came and gave her sister a hug. "Congratulations Bells. Can you handle this?" "I'm sure we'll survive. I mean we aren't alone. I have you and Esme and Edward." Alice put her hand on Bella's stomach. Or at least tried to. Bella moved her hand up a little. Alice smiled when the baby nudged her hand. "He likes it when he gets attention."

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"How do you know it's a he?" Alice asked. "When I dream it's about a little boy," Bella said, "just a guess." "Bella I'd like it if you laid down for a while," Carlisle said. Bella nodded and Alice walked with her to their room. She laid down and Alice sat on the floor beside her. "I would have thought you would go up to Edward's room." "His air freshener makes me sick," she said, "he's going to get rid of the smell and then I'll go back." Alice giggled and Bella smiled at her. "It's nice to hear your laugh again." "Is he going to take care of you?" Alice asked. "I mean really." "He wanted me to run away with him, of course he will." "Why haven't you?" Alice asked. Bella took her hand a smiled. "I can't leave you, especially now. Besides, I don't think Edward could really run off and leave Carlisle and Esme. What about you, are you going to be okay." "I feel like a huge part of me has died," Alice murmured, "I can't sleep, I can't eat, I can't think of anything but him." "I wish I could tell you that everything was going to be alright," Bella said sadly. Alice came up and hugged her sister tight. Bella sat up and hugged her back. "I love you so much Bella. I can't imagine a better sister. I also can't tell you how happy I am that you have Edward. And you're going to have a baby!" "I'm nervous, I don't know if I can be a mom." "You'll be wonderful. The best mom in the world. I feel better knowing that you're taken care of." "I love you so much Alice," Bella sobbed. "Gah I'm all hormonal!" Alice laughed and pulled back. She kissed Bella on the forehead (and missed by a few inches) and smiled at her. "Get some rest." "I will, I promise." Alice stood and sat back down, holding Bella's hand until she heard the soft snores that indicated she was in a deep slumber. She slowly made her way out, stumbling a little and wondering why she didn't just accept a cane from Carlisle. It was probably that pride she had been hearing so much about. She made it into the kitchen where Esme and Carlisle were talking quietly about what they would have to do about Bella and Edward's new situation.

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"She's sleeping," Alice said. "Is everything going to be okay?" "Nobody really knows for sure, but I'll be keeping a watch on her development. If she keeps drinking blood it should keep the baby from drinking hers." "Will Edward take care of her?" Alice asked. "Absolutely," Carlisle said, "he's in full supportive boyfriend mode. He was talking about taking her away from here, away from our father more specifically. We don't know when he'll be back and understandably this is the last thing he needs to know about." "You two are amazing, really," Alice said. "You girls are dear to us," Carlisle said, "if you ladies will excuse me I have to pick up some equipment from work. I want to give Bella an ultra-sound to see what we're dealing with." "Alright, I need to get back to making Anna's snack. When will she be here?" "After school let's out, tonight father is announcing Jaspers...passing...and what will be done next." Alice looked down and turned away to leave. "Excuse me," she whispered. She heard Carlisle kiss Esme on the cheek before leaving and Esme left to tidy up. Alice walked up the stairs and down the hall. She went into Jasper's room and the familiar smell hit her like a ton of bricks. She could still see the room in her mind. The dark gold carpet and the golden chess set by the window. A collection of prized knives in a box on his dresser. She walked over to the dresser, feeling the smooth wood to get her bearings. She opened his dresser and pulled out out a sweater. She held it and smelled it. She could still pick up his deep scent. She pulled it over her head and touched the case on the dresser and opened it. She felt the sharp point of what she knew was a golden knife. She took hold of the heavy metal and walked over to the bed where she had spent so many happy nights. Take care of her Edward, she's the world to me She held onto the pillow that still had Jasper's scent. "I love you," she whispered. As she sank the knife deep into her neck she heard Edward's yell. She was falling deeper into the darkness. She closed her eyes and she saw him there. Her soldier boy. He wore the olive green uniform with his hair cut short. He smiled at her and reached for her hand. --Bella awoke and walked out into the kitchen. Having a growing baby in her seemed to zap her energy. She looked around and rubbed her eyes. "Alice?" she mumbled. She got out of bed and stretched. She tickled her stomach lightly and felt a little flutter in response that made her smile. She walked out and saw Esme sobbing at the table. Carlisle was rubbing his forehead and Edward looked miserable. "What's wrong?" she asked. "Bella," Edward whispered. He got up and rushed to her. "How are you feeling?" "A little weak but generally fine. I had another dream about the baby."

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"A good dream?" "Your father was trying to kill him." "I won't let that happen," Edward promised. Bella smiled at him. "Where's Alice?" she asked. Esme sobbed again and Carlisle looked over at her. Bella looked up into Edward's eyes. "Edward, where is my sister?" she asked barely over a whisper. "Bella you need to sit," Carlisle said, coming to her. Bella backed away from him. "Where is my sister?" she asked. "Bella, please, sit," Carlisle urged, his vice like hands held her shoulders and he pulled her to sit. Edward held her shoulders gently and kissed the top of her head. "Alice is gone." "What? Is someone looking for her? She's blind for crying out loud!" "No, no, I mean after you went to sleep she went up to Jasper's room and killed herself." Bella didn't make a move. She stared at Carlisle. After a few seconds she spoke again. "She killed herself? Did you do anything?!" "I had left by then." "Edward?!" "I didn't know she was going to do anything until she had already done it. Bella if I could have..." "You can read minds for crying out loud! You didn't hear her?!" "No, she wasn't thinking about it. She was thinking about memories with Jasper! Quite personal memories that I tried to ignore! Bella she told me to take care of you and went back to thinking about Jasper and then I smelled blood. I couldn't save her. I'm sorry Bella." Bella shook her head. "She...she was planning this...she was saying her goodbyes to me earlier I just didn't...how could she do this?! Why would she do this?!" "When I got to her she kept whispering Jasper's name. She couldn't stand it without him anymore," Edward said sadly. "She wanted to make sure that you were taken care of before she did this. That's why she kept asking if you were in love with me and if I would care for you. She wanted to make sure that you would be fine." "But I'm not fine!" Bella cried shrilly, "my sister is dead how do you expect me to be fine?! How could she do this? First mom then her this isn't fair!" "I know, baby I know," Edward said. "No you don't know! You still have your family! Everyone I loved my whole life is gone!"

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Bella jumped out of the chair and ran off. Edward made to follow but Carlisle put a hand on his shoulder. "Give her a moment." "Carlisle father will be home any moment and I don't want her alone." Carlisle bit his lip but ultimately he knew it was cornered. If Bella ran into Lord Cullen on a good day she would be in trouble. Edward ran after Bella and caught her just before she reached the woods. "Bella, please, don't run away. You're right I don't know what you're going through but I've lost people I love too." "I'm alone," Bella sobbed, "My family...all of them..." "All I have is Carlisle," Edward reminded her, "my father hates me and my sister could care less." "Why her?" Bella asked. "Why did so many bad things happen to her? She was too good for all of that." "Now she's with Jasper," Edward reminded her, taking her hand, "I'll bet she's happy now. You can't deny that she was in pain." Bella sniffed and wiped her eyes, "no, I can't. But what am I supposed to do without her? I was able to survive without mom and dad because she was with me. Now they're all gone." "Let me take care of you," Edward whispered, "Bella we're going to have a baby. I'll take care of both of you." "EDWARD GET IN HERE NOW!" "He's back," Edward sighed. "Come on." "Why do I smell blood?" Lord Cullen demanded. "One of our humans passed away today," Carlisle said. "Hm. Edward's?" "No," Edward grumbled. "Alice, Jasper's human." "Well that just saves me the trouble of selling her," Lord Cullen shrugged. Edward tightened his grip on Bella's shoulder to keep her from saying anything. "Do you object to my tone human?" "No sir," Bella said. "I keep thinking that Edward has you under control but I keep getting disappointed." Bella didn't even care what he decided that she did wrong. He walked up to her and smirked. "Tell me Edward, is it really beyond your mental capacity to control a human girl?" "She didn't do anything and you know it. You're only picking on her because she's mine." Carlisle closed his eyes and momentarily wished he could turn back time. Lord Cullen's eyes flashed and he turned to his son. "So, you don't like it when I pick on her do you?" he murmured. He reached over and pushed Bella back,

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making her fall. "Oops." "Stop it!" Edward growled. "Why should I? Fond of the little human girl are we?" Lord Cullen bent down and pulled Bella up. He was about to say something when he stopped. He sniffed the air once and Edward froze. "Your scent is all over her. In her. But that can't be possible." "Leave her alone," Edward growled. "Oh that's adorable," Lord Cullen laughed, "little Edward loves a human. Have you had sex with her Edward? Be honest now." Lord Cullen put both hands against Bella's head. "Well, Edward?" "Y-yes. Yes I raped her." "You have never been a very good liar Edward, no I think you are in love with her. Yes you would risk my approval to keep her safe." Lord Cullen mocked, releasing Bella who scrambled away. Edward pulled her to him. "Like I would have gotten it anyway," Edward snapped, "you never loved me or even cared about me! You blame me for something I had absolutely no control over. I didn't choose to be born, you got her pregnant! If anyone killed her it was you!" There was a fire in his father's eyes that Edward never saw before. He pushed Bella away from him as his father attacked. Teeth bared Edward met the attack. They crashed with the sound of thunder and Edward wrapped his hands around his father's throat using all of his strength to keep the venom covered teeth away from his neck. "YOU MURDERED MY WIFE! IT WAS YOU! I WANTED HER TO GET RID OF YOU!" "YOU'RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE! MOM WOULD HAVE SHOT HERSELF IF SHE COULD SEE YOU NOW!" "I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT!" Carlisle snagged Bella out of the way as the vampires rolled towards her. Edward was pinned down and his father hit him in the neck. Edward coughed out the venom he had managed to produce. "I'll kill you and then kill that pathetic human you love so much." "I love her like you loved mom! That's how you are, you sadistic prick! You don't want us to be happy! That's why you blinded Alice! You don't want us to be happy!" "My sons will not be happy with humans!" Edward was slammed back into the concrete outer wall.

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"No, I won't kill you. I'll paralyze you and you can watch helplessly as the woman you love slowly dies. I will rip her apart like you did your mother! You are the monster here Edward, not I!" Edward felt like his body was on fire. If his father managed to paralyze him it wasn't just Bella who was in danger. He thought of the little baby inside of her. His baby. A child that was all the best of her and the best of him. It was so young and defenseless in her. His life didn't mean anything but he wasn't going to let anyone hurt Bella or their child. His mouth exploded with venom at the thought of his father laying even one finger on Bella. He felt it overflow and rush down his chin. He sank his teeth deep into his father's neck and pumped as much venom as he could. Like with Vincent he pushed himself with thoughts. His father was going to kill Bella. He would kill her without a second thought. He wouldn't dwell on it for a moment. His lover and his danger were in danger. Lord Cullen fell and Edward knew it was a matter of time before he got up again. He ran to Carlisle and gathered Bella into his arms. Carlisle pressed something into his hand and hugged them both. Esme gave them each a kiss goodbye and without another word Bella was on Edward's back holding tight as they fled into the night. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers! So in the original plan for this story Alice was supposed to die when she was blinded. In the original version of the chapter Lord Cullen clawed her throat out and walked off. But I lost my nerve (which happens) and then it was going to be Jasper who killed himself I think it was because the story wasn't ready to let them go yet. It actually worked out because this provided a perfect link to something that will happen a bit later. Also just to clear up incase there was confusion Edward didn't kill his father, Lord Cullen was much more powerful than Vincent was so the venom just paralyzed him (much like he had done to Jasper), which is why they had to make a hasty escape. Chapter 21, It was raining when Edward pulled up to a small cabin. He grabbed Bella and rushed them inside. "Where are we?" Bella asked, shivering. "Carlisle's place," Edward said flipping on a light. "It used to belong to our father but he gave it up after mom died. Carlisle wanted it so he got it." "It's nice," Bella said looking around the living room. It was a cute little place. Hard wood floors and a welcoming hearth across from them. There was a big fluffy pale blue rug across the floor that Bella could practically see a little one rolling around on. There was a sofa that looked perfect for an afternoon nap and an end table with a lamp on it. There were wooden stairs leading up to some bedrooms and a hall leading off to the kitchen. "I stopped off to get some things while you were asleep. Some food will be delivered tomorrow as well as some blood. I got some O for you and the baby."

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"Thank you," Bella said. "Don't mention it, I mean I have to provide don't I?" Bella reached up and kissed him. "I mean for everything. For standing up to your father for me." "You don't really understand just how much I love you yet do you?" he asked. "Bells the idea of losing you causes me pain. And now that I know you have my baby in you...the idea of him hurting you...either of you...made me crazy." "Are we going to be okay? I don't know how to be a mom." "I hope so." Bella giggled and he swept her into his arms and took her into the kitchen. He dashed back to the car and came back with several bags. Apparently he had been quite the shopper. He pulled out two bottles of blood and heated them up. He gave one to her and she took it. "Careful it's hot," he said. "I'm fine." "To a happy life and a beautiful baby." "To a happy life and a beautiful baby," Bella agreed tapping her bottle against his before they took a drink. She could tell that Edward actually liked sharing a meal with her this way. She leaned over and kissed him. When they finished drinking he picked her up and carried her upstairs into the bedroom. "Tomorrow we'll go and get stuff for the baby. A crib and some toys. A few clothes to start off with." "You're completely in parent mode aren't you?" Bella giggled. "Of course!" Edward laughed as he pulled the sheets back and covered them. "I'll be everything to this little guy that my father never was to me." Bella giggled and snuggled into him. Edward rubbed her belly lightly with one hand and kissed her forehead. "Do you have any ideas for names?" Bella asked. "Something that would be meaningful," Edward said. "If it's a girl I want to name her Alice," Bella said. "She'd like that. Or she'd smack you for lack of originality." Bella laughed and shoved him playfully. Edward kissed her cheek and smiled. "Alice is a beautiful name. Can we name her middle name after my mother?" "Alice Caroline Cullen," Bella tried. "It sounds sweet." Edward smiled and they kissed. "Perfect." "She'd be proud of you."

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"My mother?" "I've heard what your father was like before she died. I think she would be proud of you for standing up to him." "I'd like to think so," Edward sighed, "I wish I knew her. I mean I grew up hearing about this woman who was amazing and loving. I see her through the memories around me." "She would have loved you. I'm sure of it." "Me too," Edward agreed. "Enough talk for tonight love, you're tired." "No I'm not," Bella said, failing to hide a yawn. Edward laughed and snuggled under the covers with her. They laid on their sides and looked at each other. "Are you sure we'll be safe here?" "I'm sure," Edward said, "he doesn't care enough to come and find me. It would be a first." "But what if he does?" Edward kissed her forehead. "Don't worry yourself with that. If he does come I will be here to defend you. I have a trust fund that became active when I turned eighteen and that should hold us for a while." "How much?" Bella asked. "Ten million," Edward answered with a casual shrug. "I wasn't lying when I said my family was among the wealthiest." "I guess I should just believe things you tell me," Bella sighed lightly. "Aw you mean you don't? Well fine then," Edward huffed turning his back to her. Bella knew he was smiling. She rolled over and shook his shoulder. "Oh come on you know I wasn't serious," she pouted. "Nope, nope, nope, my girlfriend doesn't believe me. I'm going to cry now." "Alright fine be a baby," Bella sighed turning her back to him. She knew one of them had more willpower than the other...she just didn't know which one. She laid there, trying to out last her stubborn vampire when sleep began to settle. She closed her eyes and the baby fluttered a little. She was just about to fall into a deep slumber when she felt a cool arm around her middle. She smiled and laughed softly. "I win." "Always," Edward murmured. He was certainly enjoying his new freedom with her. He pulled her close and slept with one hand covering their baby. --When Bella woke up the next morning she was alone. She stretched and looked over at the clock. It was flashing 12:00 which really didn't help her much. She got up and was going to leave when she got distracted by the blue curtains that had been pulled back. Behind them was a sliding glass door to a small balcony that looked over a breathtaking lake. Bella slid the door open and walked out. The air was chilly and smelled like

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rain. She leaned against the rail and smiled. The forest around them was massive and a deep healthy green. The lake sparkled in the sunlight. "Carlisle would tell me how mom used to love being here," Edward said, making her jump. He got up from the chair he was sitting in and leaned on the rail beside her. "He said she loved how open and bright it was." "It's lovely," Bella murmured. "It reminds me of where I grew up." "Tell me about it," he said. "Not much to tell that you haven't heard. It was a hole. Literally. It was about the size of the kitchen here. My father built most of it. I think someone was using it before and he just made it bigger to accommodate a family. We had Alice with us then. For a while we lived above ground but that was a very short time. I was only a few years old I guess. Sometimes I wonder why..." Bella hesitated, trying to find a way to voice something she never had the courage to ask her mother, "...I wonder why they kept me." "What do you mean?" Edward asked. "I mean when Alice and I were little mom got pregnant again. She didn't know that we snuck out after her and dad but they went into the woods to get rid of the baby. A part of me has always wondered why they kept me. I understand why they didn't keep the other baby. I mean two children already...but I can't imagine that I was planned." "Neither was I if you can believe it," Edward said putting his arms around her for comfort. Bella smiled and leaned against him. "Mom wasn't supposed to have children again but she did. It's strange, missing someone you never really knew. But then again I think I did know her. I was in her for crying out loud. I only have one memory before I was born and that was being born." "You vampires and your memories," Bella teased. "Well I remember that humans need breakfast," he said lifting her up, "and that you haven't eaten yet." "Have you?" she asked. "No, but I'm not carrying anything now am I?" Bella giggled and kissed his cheek. It all felt like a fairy tale. Like they were two characters in a cottage in the woods. Edward was so much brighter out here. Without the fear of his father popping in at any moment and discovering them, he was very happy. Bella wasn't used to being alone with him like this. All of her life she lived with at least three other people if not more. So now it was just the two of them. After breakfast they went into the living room to watch some television and relax a bit. Bella laid on the sofa which was as comfortable as it looked and Edward sat on the floor beside her. Occasionally he would reach back and hold her hand or kiss it. When the movie started to turn a little dull for both of them he entertained himself by talking to the baby. "Can he hear you?" Bella asked. "Oh I'm sure," Edward murmured in the same soft voice. "But right now he can't understand me, so I could say anything in the world as long as it was in a soft comforting tone. Isn't that right baby?"

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Edward brushed his hand over her stomach and Bella felt the flutter again. "How fast do babies develop." "Carlisle told me that human babies are really slow and take nine months, vampire babies develop quickly and take about four to five. I can't say how fast he'll go though. Carlisle is coming this evening and he'll take an ultrasound and project the date of birth. I'm also going to ask him how to do a few things just incase." "Like what?" Bella asked, rubbing her belly as well. "Well delivering a baby for starters. The nearest hospital is an hour away and Carlisle is even further. Also to be safe I want to know how to do an emergency c-section if I need to. I know the theory behind it but theory can only take you so far." "Let's hope it doesn't come to that," Bella said. Edward nodded in agreement. "You be good in there, don't hurt your mommy." --They had just made it back from shopping when Carlisle arrived. He waved to them and Bella had never been happier to see the gentle doctor. She was equally happy when she saw that Esme was with him. "Well there they are, the two runaways," Carlisle laughed. He hugged his brother and Bella hugged Esme. "How are you two?" "So far so good," Edward said picking up the box with the crib in it. "Getting ready for the baby." "Good, good, probably a year or so here and everything will have blown over enough for you to come back home." "We can only hope," Edward sighed. "How long did it take for him to wake up?" "An hour. Which I have to congratulate you on little brother. I don't think the old bastard has ever spent a full hour in paralysis since his father was alive. But he is pissed." "Hence the hasty departure. Thank you so much for the help." "No problem," Carlisle said grabbing several bags from the car he drove. "I brought your clothes and I picked up some for Bella. The basement has a lot of clothes from when we were little. He had them shipped out here when we all grew up." "Where'd you get the wheels?" Edward asked as he helped Carlisle unload the equipment. "Emmett," Carlisle said with a shrug, "after Rosalie got pregnant again she wanted a bigger car. So he got a hummer. She slapped him." Edward barked a laugh and Carlisle carried the machines inside. "I was in such a rush to give you what you needed and get you out that I left my hospital I.D in my wallet. So I'll be needing that." "Yeah I saw that," Edward laughed, "it's on the end table there. Thanks again, really."

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"No problem, I brought everything you'll need. Father tried but since you're a legal adult he couldn't freeze your accounts. That pissed him off even more." "Do you think he'll come after us?" Edward asked, setting the machine he carried down in the living room. "I'd say no, he's thundering around the house cursing your name and hopping you die." "Lovely." "Bella if you'll give me a moment to set everything up I'll give you an ultrasound and we'll be able to see what we're dealing with." "Alright, can I get you anything?" "No, I'm fine, but why don't you and Esme have some tea." "Come on dear, let's let the boys chat," Esme said putting her arm around Bella. They walked into the kitchen and Esme put on a pot of tea. Bella had noticed that everything was set up just as it had been back home. She then realized that she had thought of the Cullen mansion as home. "I hope he isn't taking his anger out on you or Carlisle." "Lord Cullen is really a spoiled brat just like Edward. The only difference is Edward has a heart left. You'd be surprised how similar they are. I think they'd be surprised. Of all his son's, Edward is the closest to his father or at least who he used to be. Carlisle is more like his mother. She was sweet and compassionate." "So who is going to take over the family and all that now that Jasper is gone?" Bella asked pouring a cup of blood when she felt the familiar weakness set in. "Well, the only one who can," Esme said with a shrug. "Now that Rosalie has taken Emmett's name whatever son she has will inherit the McCarty line. After that accident...poor dear. But Carlisle will inherit everything that his siblings don't. Each of the siblings will get a fourth of the estate so added to that Carlisle will take control of the mansion the businesses and most importantly he'll become Lord Cullen and take the seat in the government." "Is that what Carlisle wants?" Bella asked. "Of course," Esme said, "knowing what his father isn't afraid to do if he disagrees that's enough motivation." "Anna?" "It's looking like that," Esme said sadly, "he's a horrible man that Lord Cullen. He's using blackmail to get what he wants. But it works. Carlisle will do anything to keep his daughter safe even if it means giving up what he loves doing." "Maybe Edward could instead." "If Lord Cullen hasn't officially disowned his son yet it's only a matter of time," Esme said sadly, "it breaks my heart because Edward would make a great Lord. He has his father's firm hand but his mother's heart. He's always been good at politics and even though he couldn't match Jasper in military expertise he's not stupid. If

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his father would only just open his eyes and see his son but he's so blinded by a tragic accident." "Do you think I'll survive this baby?" Bella asked. Esme shrugged. She honestly had no idea. --"Will Bella survive through the pregnancy?" Edward asked as they set up. His voice was so quiet the girls in the other room had no idea. "It's hard to say," Carlisle said, "vampire birth is different than human birth. The baby is much stronger for starters. I lost count of how many times you and I kicked mom in the ribs and hurt her. But she has a vampire's placenta," which means it's stronger and able to withstand the strength of the baby. Bella will be in pain for the next months, especially when the baby grows but the placenta will help her. You could feel it under her skin I'm sure." "Yes." "This won't be fun for her I'm sure," Carlisle said nodding to the machine. "Might burn a little." "She'll be fine," Edward assured him, "she's strong like that. I just hope that she's strong enough to handle this. I mean they told mom that she wasn't strong enough to have me and look what happened." "We can only hope for the best," Carlisle said, "I wish I could stay and keep an eye on her but I can't. I want you to call me though. Every day you have to call me and tell me what is going on. You are to take pictures as well, I packed you a camera, and you are to e-mail them to me daily so I can measure the growth. Then I can give you a prediction of a due date and hopefully I can be here to help. I'd like to avoid a vaginal birth if possible. There, we're ready." Carlisle called to them in a normal tone. They came out and Carlisle told Bella where to lay down and pulled her shirt up to reveal the swelling belly that had grown since the night before. "You have some mild bruising down here, is the baby kicking?" "Sometimes. Is it too early for that though?" "I'll see in a moment," Carlisle said. "Now this will burn. It's not meant for human skin but it will leave no lasting damage. Let me know if it's too much okay." Bella nodded and Edward held her hand. Carlisle spread some gel over her stomach and Bella felt a cool tingling sensation. "That tickles!" "It'll numb your skin a little. Now here we go," Carlisle turned the machine on and pressed the camera against her skin. He was right, there was some burning. It felt like she was out on a warm day. She looked on the screen as Carlisle moved it around. "There he is, he's hiding from me." "Wow," Edward breathed beside her. He squeezed her hand and Bella smiled. "Looking at it, I'd say you're about a month and a half along. There are his feet, oh..." "Ow!" "Sorry about that, he's excited. Wait, she's excited."

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"She? You're sure?" "If she's developing like a normal baby there should be a little penis right about there," Carlisle said, "looks like you're going to have a girl." "Oh my god I'm going to have a girl! Ow!" "She's definitely excited," Edward said. He put his hand gently on Bella's side. "There's her head, and if I turn the speakers on..." Bella heard what sounded like the purr of a humming bird's wings. "Her heart," she whispered, "it's racing." "We'll keep an eye on that," Carlisle said, "but I figure it's because she's part human. I'll burn this onto a DVD for you two." "I'm going to watch this so many times," Edward said with a laugh, his eyes fixed on the screen. "I can't believe it." "She's so real," Bella whispered touching her stomach. She saw a shift in the baby. Her head turned, almost into Bella's hand. "She's responding just like a vampire baby would. She already knows your voices. Yours especially Bella, but she's been hearing it every moment she's been alive." Carlisle turned the machine off to save Bella's skin and the parents seemed a bit down. It seemed they loved watching their baby. Carlisle smiled at them and put a blank DVD into the connected computer. --It was hard for Edward to imagine that anything could go wrong after seeing his baby on the monitor. But a week had passed and now Bella was obviously pregnant and in pain. He rubbed soothing circles on her stomach to calm the baby. It wasn't her fault that she was hurting her mother, after all she didn't know any better. Another month passed and Bella was still in pain. Carlisle projected the due date to be in a month and a half. He had also trained Edward in what to do incase of an emergency. The parents-to-be were extremely nervous but happy. Every night they curled up together and watched a movie or a sitcom. Bella found she was really enjoying one about a vampire family and their crazy neighbors. They stayed up one night watching a vampire comedian. Edward laughed a little more often, having understood more of the references, but Bella was enjoying herself. She had a few questions when the vampire mentioned his clueless wife when they were in an accident. "And there I was my arm almost cut in half, blood everywhere and she's complaining about the carpet!" Edward laughed and that. "I didn't know vampires could bleed," Bella said. "Oh yeah, we just don't have blood like you do. We also don't do it often." "Well your skin is so tough."

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"Exactly. But we class our blood differently than humans do. For instance I have W-Z blood. The W stands for class and Z is my blood type. It's like O for humans, you know, the most adaptable." "What does your blood look like?" "It's not as dark as yours, but it's like a pale red." "Haha you have pink blood." "Light red! And we don't need as much of it. My blood has more venom in it than a vampire of a normal class. That makes us stronger. It's a strange system that Carlisle could explain much better." "So what kind of blood do you think our baby will have?" Bella asked, rubbing her stomach once. "Probably more of mine. Vampire blood is a little more on the dominant side." "Everything about you people is more on the dominant side," Bella sighed. "Such is life," Edward shrugged. He hugged her close. "But there is nothing submissive about you." Bella smiled and kissed him. "Well I have to keep you on your...ow!" Edward heard a snap and jumped up. Bella cried out and he saw a foot move under her skin. "Calm down baby, calm down," Edward murmured rubbing Bella's stomach. "She was just startled." "I think something broke," Bella groaned with tears rolling down her cheeks. She bit back the string of profanities she really wanted to let out. Edward carried her up for an x-ray (thanks to Carlisle's paranoia they had a machine set up) and checked her out. "Cracked a rib," Edward said, "Carlisle said it was bound to happen. She doesn't know her own strength yet." He went across the room and grabbed some pills from the cabinet. Bella took them from him and swallowed them. "Pain killers," he said. "You'll need them." "How much longer until she's here?" Bella asked. "A month or so by Carlisle's guess," Edward said rubbing her shoulders. "There isn't much I can do about your rib though so I'll call Carlisle and find out. Those should make you a little sleepy." "That's fine," Bella sighed. "I'm tired anyway." "Alright, do you want to take a bath before bed?" he asked, feeling bad about her being hurt and not really being able to do anything. "Take one with me?" she asked. Who was he to deny her? He carried her into their room where a large bathroom connected off to the side. He

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undressed them both and looked at his pregnant girlfriend. She was breathtaking to him. He gazed over her swelling breasts and to the large round belly that was referred lovingly to as their baby. There were faint bruises on her stomach but so far nothing too damaging. He knew the worst was yet to come though. The last month was approaching and their baby was going to be stronger and bigger. Edward drew a hot bath for them and was testing the temperature. Bella watched him, always marveling at the perfect cut of his body. She watched the muscles ripple in his arms as he worked. She watched as he bent over, showing her more of his delightful backside. She absolutely loved it when he bent over naked. He was perfect and he was hers. Edward reached for her hand and helped her into the tub. He got in and sat behind her, letting her lean back against him. Edward was always a good bathing partner, especially when things got heated. But she was too pregnant for that. He dipped a large glass jar into the water and poured it over her head. He did it a couple times, knowing how much she loved it. He squeezed some of the shampoo into his palm and rubbed it into her hair. Bella could hardly suppress the moan she felt bubble in her throat as his fingers moved in slow circles along her scalp, massaging it and scratching it lightly with his nails. He combed his fingers through her hair a few times and then washed his hands off before grabbing the jar again. He repeated the same procedure with conditioner and Bella felt like she was in heaven. "If you were a kitten you'd be purring," he murmured. "Your hands are amazing," she sighed. She tilted her head back as he washed the conditioner from her hair and combed his fingers through to get rid of any tangles. Then came his favorite part. He grabbed a bottle of body wash (especially for humans) and rubbed her shoulders and arms. He had her sit up strait and he rubbed her back, focusing most of his attention on her lower sides where the weight of the baby was starting to cause aches. "Warm enough my dear?" he asked. Bella nodded. Edward washed her belly, rubbing soothing circles his hands dipped under the water to get most of her but like with her back he wasn't interested in cleaning her off. "Mmm I can tell when you're planning something," Bella sighed with a smile. "What would I be planning?" Edward asked innocently, his hand rubbing her thigh. "What indeed," she whispered leaning back to kiss him. Edward smiled against her lips. His fingers slipped between her legs and brushed against her opening. Bella moaned softly and he brushed against her clit. "Oh look what happened by accident." Bella rolled her eyes but didn't stop him. She was thinking of a way she could get him back when his fingers hit the right spot and she gasped, arching her back and into his hand. The battle for control was short lived if it had even managed to start at all. Edward's fingers moved at a speed she couldn't achieve herself, rubbing her clit and pumping in and out of her. His free hand came up and cupped her breast. "Do you like this?" he purred in her ear. "Oh yes," she moaned. She bit her lip as he rolled her nipple lightly between his thumb and finger. "Edward...oh..." "If I could I would be inside of you, doing what my fingers are doing now."

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Her mind was static. His fingers moved faster. She gripped the side of the tub. "My beautiful Bella," he whispered, "you know how I love it when you cum in my hand." "Y-yes," she moaned. She dropped her head back against his shoulder and he kissed her neck. He took his hand from her breast and tangled his fingers in hers. He moved his fingers faster against her clit. Her body trembled and she released. Edward felt the water get a little warmer and he smiled. "How was that baby?" he asked. "Amazing," she sighed, falling limp against him. The baby was squirming inside of her. She didn't seem to enjoy that nearly as much as her mother did. "She...ow...is giddy tonight." "Don't worry you'll get attention too, just a much different kind. And remember if a boy ever touches you there he'll burst into flames." "Oh lord," Bella sighed. "What? She's going to look like you and she is going to be gorgeous. Boys are going to be all over her and I know how they get. Believe me." "If I recall you were quite the player Mr. Cullen." "Just keeping busy until I could meet you. Are you tired?" "Very," Bella sighed. Edward laughed and helped her out. He dried her off and dressed them both for a nice comfortable rest. He listened to her sleep and knew that this was everything he wanted. The woman who, for all intensive purposes, was his wife and their unborn baby. He could imagine thirty some years ago, his father laying in the very same bed with his wife, watching her sleep, wondering what their newborn would be like. The fear that Bella wouldn't survive was back again. She was so fragile. There was so much that could kill her that wouldn't even phase him. What if she didn't survive the birth? Was there even a way he could prevent that should it start to happen? What if he had to choose? If he could only save one...they were both so precious so him. He hadn't even met his daughter and already he was willing to die for her, just to keep her safe. But that wasn't going to happen. He told himself that as Bella stirred slightly in her sleep but didn't wake. She was going to be fine. She was going to give him a beautiful baby girl and they were going to be a perfect family. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 22, Edward came home to find Bella sitting on the floor of the nursery in tears. "Bella, honey what's wrong?" he asked kneeling beside her.

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"I was folding up the clothes for the baby, because you're supposed to wash them before dressing the baby in them," she mumbled, wiping tears away, "and then she kicked me and I dropped the detergent because I was surprised so I cleaned it up but the smell was so strong and I threw up so I cleaned that up and I got puke all over that cute little pink onesie that you got her that said Miss Messy and so I had to rewash it..." "Sweetie what's wrong though?" Edward asked. Bella let out another cry and wiped her eyes, "I'm going to be a mom and I miss my mommy!" Ah, the root of the problem. Edward brought her into his arms and rubbed soothing circles on her back. "I know you miss her baby. It's okay." "No it's not! I don't know how to be a mom! I don't even know how to be pregnant!" "Well you're doing a great job so far," Edward said encouragingly, "the baby hasn't died and she's healthy. When she comes you'll be a wonderful mother. I can tell Bella. You're a kind hearted woman and you have so love in your heart." "But what if I die?" She sobbed, "I don't want to leave her like that! I don't want to leave her like mom left me!" "Bella what are you really afraid of?" Edward asked gently. "Edward I'm a human giving birth to a vampire. Your mother couldn't survive your birth and she was stronger than me! What chance to I have?!" "Come on love don't worry," Edward murmured, hugging her. "Why not?" "Because I'm not good at being the strong one," he admitted hugging her even tighter, "Bella I am so afraid that something will happen and I'll lose you or the baby or both. You two are my world. I haven't even met our baby girl and already I am completely in love with her. She'll be here soon and we'll both see that worrying was a waste of time." "I hope you're right," Bella sniffed. "Help me up...I'm too fat!" she sobbed dissolving into tears. "I am not going to miss the hormones," Edward sighed, helping her stand. Stop crying mommy! "Alice wants you to stop crying." "How come you get to hear her and I don't? I am so hormonal!!" "Yes, you are," Edward agreed. "Let me make you dinner." "I feel kind of weak." "Alright, let's get you some blood," Edward said.

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They walked downstairs and into the kitchen. Bella sat at the small table and Edward warmed some blood for her. "There you go beautiful," he murmured kissing her cheek. "I'll make you some eggs okay." "Sounds wonderful," Bella said with a smile. Edward pulled out a frying pan and some eggs. Twenty minutes later Edward put a plate in front of her. Bella looked at the eggs and then up at him. "Really?" Edward looked at the plate of too brown eggs. "What?" "Cooking isn't your cup of tea," she giggled. She stood up and cracked some eggs over a frying pan. She grabbed a loaf of bread and cut a slice. As she did her baby kicked and she jumped, slicing her palm. "Oh ow," she hissed dropping the knife. Edward was at her side in a minute. "Are you alright?" he asked. "Bleeding from the hand sweetie," Bella said, "should I get a glass or a towel?" "Oh haha very funny," Edward said grabbing a towel. He cleaned her hand with a towel and examined it. "I saw Carlisle do this once," Edward mumbled. He bit the tip of his finger and pale red blood came out. He brushed it over her cut. It burned slightly and tingled. Bella looked up at him curiously. "I didn't know I could do that until recently or I would have helped with the cuts that one time." "You're sweet," Bella said. She watched as the cut seemed to close and disappear. She kissed his cheek and then pulled away to cook. Edward leaned against the counter and drank his blood. "You look sexy cooking like that," he purred. "I would take you here and now if you weren't hugely pregnant." "I think she'd get upset about that," Bella laughed tipping her eggs onto a plate. "I wonder if we had sex if she doesn't like it because she gets poked. You know like I'm invading her bubble." "That is really creepy." Edward laughed and Bella sat down with her eggs. Edward gave her another bottle of blood. "Just to be safe," he said. Bella sighed and drank the blood to make him happy. "How's your hand?" "Completely healed. If I wasn't so extremely pregnant I'd give you a special thank you," she purred. "Ow! Hello down there I wasn't serious!" Edward howled with laughter and Bella scowled at him. "Oh you wait until she's born. I'll be back to my normal figure and you'll want to do me and I'll be too busy taking care of the baby." "Oh you don't play fair," Edward grumbled. "Oh sweetie, if I didn't play fair I would be pulling my shirt slowly up and let you think about how swollen my breasts are and how my hormones keep me so incredibly horny that I just want to have sex with you over and over again." "Gah I'm leaving!" Edward cried. Bella giggled and sipped her glass of blood. ---

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Edward was laying on the sofa flipping through channels. Midnight brought very boring television. He settled on a comedian and laughed at a stupid joke about married life. He was jerked from his entertainment when he heard Bella scream in pain. He jumped up and was up the stairs before the scream left her. "What happened?! What's going on?!" "I don't know, something broke I can feel it. I think she put her foot through something. My back hurts so bad!" "Okay sweetie I don't see any signs of a break. I think she just gave you a big kick. Roll onto your side love." Bella nodded and rolled onto her side. Edward chuckled and stood. He walked to the other side of the bed and sat down. He gently massaged her lower back and Bella sighed. "Better?" he asked gently. Bella nodded. "Probably just some pressure building up. She'll be ready to come out soon. What do we have a week or so left?" "About," Bella agreed. She reached back and grabbed his hand, pulling it around her. Edward drew closer and kissed the back of her neck. He closed his eyes but opened them again when he felt quick movement. "Edward..." Bella began but she stopped when blood came out of her mouth. Her hand flew to her stomach. Edward heard what sounded like a pop and then a sickening crack. He was out of the bed in an instant and back again with the bag of medical supplies Carlisle had left him. Bella was on her back with her head turned, she kept coughing up blood. She couldn't speak and Edward knew time was short. He dug out the scalpel and plunged it into her skin exactly where Carlisle had instructed. He cut her open and saw a pearly sac and little fingers clawed at it. He could hear the panicked tone in his daughter's thoughts. She was suffocating. Edward sliced the placenta open and pulled the baby out. "She...safe...?" Bella choked out. "Bella stay with me," Edward pleaded. The sheets were soaked with her blood. Her heart was giving out. Edward grabbed the bag and emptied it. He brought his wrist to his mouth and tore the skin off with his teeth. "Please, Bella, drink now!" He felt her weakly suck on his wrist. He grabbed a syringe from the pile on the bed. Alice Caroline Cullen was screaming as loudly as her little lungs could manage on the bed beside her dying mother. Edward jammed the needle into his neck and drew out his blood. He injected it into her heart and went again, drawing more blood. More into her heart. He injected his blood into the veins of her neck. She stopped drawing from the wound on his wrist. "Please Bella...please..." Her head fell limp and she was motionless. Her face was bloody, hers mixed with his. Her heart was beating slowly. "Please Bella...please...hang on I can't do this without you." Her heart slowed until there was nothing at all. Edward felt his world shatter in that single moment. He held her in his arms and kissed her lips. He kissed her as if that would bring her back. As if somehow he could give

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his life to her. Everything flashed before his eyes in that moment. Seeing her at the Center. Her wild and untamed behavior as he brought her home. Teasing her in the kitchen and taking every available moment to make her angry. Holding her in the dungeon where his father locked them up after whipping her. The pain he felt when she vanished and the agony in his heart when he found her, raped bloody and beaten. He felt the joy of the moment she said she loved him. The hope they had when they escaped. They love they had together for their daughter. All that fell away in that moment and became a memory. His Bella was dead in his arms. He wanted to lay next to her and slowly slip into the eternal darkness with her but the screams of his newborn snagged him back. He stood and lifted the baby girl from the bed. Cleaning Bella and burying her would have to wait. The baby needed nourishment, warmth and probably lots of rest. He went into the bathroom and bathed her. Then he wrapped her in a soft blanket. As he carried her into the kitchen and warmed some blood for her, he felt connected to his father in a way he never expected. He had lost the only woman he ever loved. He had watched her die unable to save her as his baby girl lived. But as much as he wanted to channel his anger and pain into the baby in his arms he couldn't. Because in reality it hadn't been the baby that killed her. It was his. He was the one that put a vampire baby inside of a human. He carried her into the nursery and set her in the crib. He kissed her goodnight and she waved her little hand. He took it and rubbed it with his thumb. "Sleep well my precious," he whispered. He turned on the mobile and went downstairs for some blood and some much needed grieving. --Edward slept on the sofa. He woke only when Alice cried and he would feed and change her. Then he would put her back to sleep. He knew that just across the hall in the other room Bella needed to be cleaned up and buried. But he wasn't strong enough to look at her. He was shaking as his body recovered from losing so much blood. But he knew that wasn't why he was stalling. He was selfish and weak. He collapsed onto the couch again and fell asleep. He rarely had nightmares. In fact the last nightmare he had was after he learned the truth about how his mother died thanks to a memory from his father. He had been seven at the time and he had run screaming into Carlisle's room. But this was just like that one. He saw images of Bella suffering and bleeding. He heard the cries of his daughter and Bella's dying breaths. He jerked awake, breathless and frightened. He went upstairs and found Bella laying where he had left her. Her body was covered by the sheet he had managed to pull up before leaving. But she was still. Her skin was cold for a human and her skin was like snow. She was completely immobile. "Bella," he murmured. He couldn't bury her yet. He wasn't strong enough. But he couldn't leave her face bloody. He would clean her up and then go from there. The room smelled awful. Stale blood and fluids were sticking to the sheet and on the floor was the collapsed shell of Alice's placenta. He would have to get that taken care of. There was so much he had left to do. He still had to call Carlisle and tell him that his niece was born and the human girl he saw as a daughter was dead. But first that required Edward admitting it to himself. He would have to find a way to say the words. He would have to admit to the truth. He opened the door to the balcony to let some fresh air in. He walked out and for the first time in his life he wanted his father to be there. He wanted to turn to him and ask him what to do next? What do you do when the woman you love died because of your own mistakes?

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Edward instantly scolded himself for thinking of Alice as a mistake. Unplanned and unexpected definitely but he was sure that the baby sleeping in the other room was the one good thing he had made in his lifetime. She brought her parents together in a way they never expected. Because of her they were here, free of his father's tyranny. It wasn't the baby that killed Bella. It was him. He tried to reason with himself, to keep the guilt from suffocating him. There was no time to take precautions. It was a situation where one could be certainly saved. Bella would have wanted him to save their child. He jumped off of the balcony and landed in the soft grass below. He wanted to get away from the room but didn't want to look at Bella's body. It was too much for him. His phone buzzed in his pocket and he answered it. Alice started crying. "Hello?" "Edward? You sound miserable what's wrong?" It was Carlisle. He was probably checking up. "Edward? Say something! Is everything okay?" "No," Edward sobbed, "Carlisle she..." "The baby?" "She's fine." "Bella?" "Carlisle she's gone...I messed up...the placenta detached and I had to get the baby out. Bella lost so much blood. I tried to give her mine but it wasn't enough." "Oh, Edward I'm sorry. I'm...what's that?" "She won't stop crying. I can't do this Carlisle. I'm not strong enough to do this without her." "Come here," Carlisle said, "I can't get away but I don't want you to be alone. Father is back at the capitol. Bring the baby and we'll figure something out okay." "Alright." "Alright I'll see you soon, bye." Edward hung up and noticed that Alice had stopped crying. He began to worry instantly. Something had to be wrong. His daughter was just like his sister, demanding and persistent. She wouldn't stop crying until she was in someone's arms. Someone was here. With as distracted as he was a bomb could go off and he wouldn't notice, so surely he would have been oblivious to an intruder. What if it was his father? His throat dried as he jumped up to the balcony and, careful not to look towards the bed, he rushed across the room. What was he going to do if it was his father? He didn't know if he was strong enough after giving Bella a good portion of his blood. He pushed the door open and he felt like he had been hit in the face with a wrecking ball. Bella looked up at him with glittering scarlet eyes with her baby in her snowy white arms. Her smile faded when she saw his expression of extreme shock. "Honey what's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost."

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TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 23, She was stunning. Not that she hadn't been beautiful before, but Edward was floored by what he saw. Her skin was like ivory and just as flawless. She looked at him with perfect scarlet eyes. "B-Bella..." "Yes? What is it? Edward you're going to catch flies if you keep your mouth open like that. Isn't that right pretty baby?" She cooed back to her daughter. "Daddy looks like he's seen a ghost! I'll bet you're hungry." Alice giggled again and Bella took her little hand. She walked past Edward and down the stairs. She warmed some blood for Alice and gave it to her. "Bella...is this real?" Edward asked. "Why wouldn't it be?" she asked, looking at her baby. The infant in her arms sucked happily on the rubber nipple and Bella sang softly. Edward was still quite in shock. He gaped at Bella or at least the woman that may have been Bella. He dashed upstairs just to check and sure enough the bed was empty and the bloody sheets had been stripped. Her bloody and ruined clothes were laying on the dresser and the drawer was open. She must have been just changing before Alice cried. He heard the soft chime of her laughter and went downstairs. If he hadn't still been in complete shock he would have found the scene heartwarming. Bella was standing in the kitchen with her baby. She was raising her up and the baby was giggling. She brought the infant down and kissed her on the forehead. "You're so big already," Bella laughed, "I thought you would be smaller!" "She was smaller. Vampire babies grow a little differently. Mentally especially." "Oh you're back," she said with a smile. "Let's go for a walk! Oh I know she'll love the fresh air." "Bella I think we need to talk first," Edward said. "Are you okay? I mean I didn't take too much of your blood did I? I don't remember much of it but I woke up feeling fresh and energetic. Did you drink any while I was sleeping? You look pale." "I'm always pale," Edward reminded her, "Bella have you even seen yourself?" "What do you mean?" Bella asked, taking some of her hair from Alice's grabbing hands. Edward reached for the baby and Bella passed her over. He held Alice in one arm and took Bella's hand. He took her upstairs and brought her to the large mirror in the bathroom. "That's what I mean!"

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Bella's eyes widened. She touched her cheek and her hand jerked away as if she had touched fire. She took in everything, or at least tried to. Her now smooth snowy skin and flawless features. There was still some blood on her chin and neck. She was started by her deep red eyes. Her figure seemed to have smoothed out too. She wasn't used to seeing herself thin. "I think...I think you're a vampire..." "How is that possible? I was human a minute ago!" "A day ago." "A day? Wow. Edward how did you do this?" Edward shrugged and smiled. "What?" "It's Alice, she thinks you're pretty," he said. Bella softened and took her baby into her arms. "You're pretty too baby girl," she murmured. "The most beautiful baby in the world." "We have to see Carlisle. He wanted me to come over. Father is gone so we shouldn't be bothered." "When did you talk to Carlisle?" "Just before I found you. I told him you were dead because I thought you were!" "Hm. Well surprise then. Why do you keep looking at me like that?" "You look beautiful," he murmured, "motherhood suits you." Bella smiled and kissed his cheek. She set Alice on the bed. "Watch her will you?" Bella asked. Edward nodded and sat on the bed with his daughter. They began a game of catch daddy's finger while Bella changed. Alice giggled as Edward poked her little tummy and tried to catch his hand. Bella went into the bathroom to wash her face and clean up. She came back out with her hair brushed and held out of her face with a white headband. She smiled, watching the two play. Edward finally let Alice catch him and she lost interest in the game. He scooped her up and went into the other room to change her diaper. Bella followed and watched Edward work. "I still can't read your mind, do you know how much that sucks?" "I dunno I kind of like it," Bella giggled. "Here, you get to dress her." Bella took her squirming baby and picked out a pair of yellow cotton pajamas. With Alice all wrapped up Edward grabbed the diaper bag and they left. ---

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Bella felt strange. She didn't have much of a desire to sleep even though they had been driving for several hours. She was able to keep track of things she missed the last time they drove out. But the strangest for her was when they walked out into the car and the ray of light hit her and her skin shimmered like diamonds. Edward chuckled and had stopped half way through putting Alice's car seat in when started looking at her glittering hands. What else was weird was how she wasn't hungry anymore but thirsty. It burned her throat and she hated it. So Edward took her out for dinner. She could tell he enjoyed that just a little too much. "Oh isn't she just precious!" an elderly vampire cooed. "How old is she?" "Just a few days," Bella answered proudly. "Oh my heavens! Such pretty dark eyes! You don't see those very often anymore." Edward came back and the woman continued on her way. Alice seemed to enjoy the attention. Bella smiled at her as Edward took the carrier and they returned to the car. Alice kept crying every time Bella left her so she finally just took her from the car seat and kept her in her lap. That made Alice very happy. "She looks like you," Edward said quietly. "I wish I could say what her life is going to be like." "She looks more like a vampire," Bella said. "So I think she'll pass as one." "Her skin is too warm and she has a heartbeat." "Oh right." "So vampires can have dark eyes?" "They get darker when we're thirsty as you know, but there are some vampires that have very dark red eyes. Some are naturally black. Just like humans have variations in their features. Red is the most common color, or pinkish if they drink synthetic blood." Bella looked down at Alice who was becoming extremely interested in her toes. She kept reaching for them, not seeming to understand what was moving beneath the yellow cotton. As far as size went Alice was about the same as any human baby but she seemed to have the mentality of almost a year. "Is this normal?" she asked. "Nothing about her is normal, but as far as vampire development goes she's mentally on track. I was talking by the time I was a year old and not just baby babble. Then again I had Carlisle and Esme raising me. Even then Carlisle was addicted to books." Bella giggled and then sighed. "You'll have to read to her." "I'll read to you both. I'll teach you to read if you'd like. I can teach you anything you'd like me to." "The only thing I'm concerned about right now I know you can't teach me." "What's that?" Edward asked. "How do I be a good mom?"

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He looked over at her and smiled gently. He touched her cheek and took her hand while he turned his attention back to the road. "Bella you're going to be a great mom. I can see it already. She adores you." Bella smiled and looked down at Alice who was starting to grow tired of her toes. She smoothed her thin reddish hair and kissed the top of her head. When they got to Carlisle they would get their questions answers. Or at least that's what Bella hoped. She wanted to know if her daughter was going to be okay. She wanted to know how exactly she had become a vampire and what that meant exactly. This was all so strange to her but it felt wonderful. She had her baby in her arms and her adoring boyfriend by her side. "I love you Edward," she murmured, squeezing his hand. "You have no idea just how much." Edward looked over at her and smiled. He kissed her hand and they drove in silence. Bella took her hand back to adjust her baby and Alice seemed too interested in her mom's fingers to let them go. Bella smiled down at her baby and played softly with her hair. "She has her grandfather's curly hair," Bella murmured. "I'm surprised she isn't blonde. Almost everyone in my family is." "Nope, she's going to have her daddy's hair." "It's a little too brown for that, a nice mix of the two." Edward sang a soft lullaby as they drove. Alice listened and seemed to get a little drowsy. Bella reclined the seat a little and moved her daughter so she could drift to sleep. Alice yawned and snuggled against her mother's chest. Bella took over the lullaby and stroked her daughter's head gently while she fell asleep. "She's a precious little thing," Bella murmured. "She is," Edward agreed. He reached over and patted Alice's head and adjusted the blanket around her. "Comfortable?" "Yes," Bella said, "something I'll have to get used to." "Carlisle will probably know what's going on. He usually does." --Edward pulled up to the mansion. He wondered why Carlisle was still hanging around the old place. All of his siblings were gone in one way or another. But then Edward remembered his sister-in-law and immediately answered his own question. Bella got out of the car carefully, not even disturbing the baby in the slightest. That alone amazed her. "She still asleep?" "Sound asleep." Edward smiled and slung the diaper bag over his shoulder. He let them in and heard Carlisle in the living room with Esme.

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"Edward, oh thank goodness," Carlisle said the moment they reached the room. He stopped when he saw Bella. "What's going on here?" "That's what we're hoping you can help us with," Edward said, "Bella isn't quite as dead as first thought." "How is that possible?" Esme asked. "What did you do?" Carlisle asked Edward. "She was bleeding to death so I tried to heal her with my blood and...tah dah." Bella shifted uncomfortably out of habit. She hadn't had enough time to get properly used to her new body. She was also very painfully aware of the fact that she and Edward just broke two laws of nature within the span of a few months. "So you're saying that Bella died in childbirth, correct?" "Yes," Edward nodded. "And while she was dying you gave her blood, correct?" "Yes, from my wrist and I injected about five syringes full in her heart and the major veins in her neck." Carlisle stood and Edward took Alice so that Bella could be examined. Bella didn't like Carlisle as much when he was in doctor mode. It make her feel uncomfortable. But he examined her and did a few simple physical tests. "How amazing," he murmured as he tested Bella's reflexes. "Her skin has the same consistency as ours and she has similar reflexes. Her body adapted very well to your blood Edward. Can you read my thoughts?" "Now that I think about it I can hear a soft whisper." "Of course because you have his genetics in you now." "But I still can't hear hers," Edward said, "does that mean she's still the same?" "I'm sure her genetic information is all intact and has adapted to yours. I'd like to do a brain scan tomorrow. But there are more important things now." "Like?" Edward pressed. "Like meeting my niece for example. I must say as a doctor I am quite curious to see her." "How about as her uncle first Dr. Dork." Carlisle chuckled and lifted Alice from Edward's arms. The baby seemed a bit uneasy at first. Carlisle smiled at her and cradled her gently. "Well isn't she lovely? What's her name mom?" "Alice Caroline Cullen." "Lovely Alice," Carlisle cooed.

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"She is beautiful Bella," Esme praised, "I'm so happy you survived." "Me too," Bella sighed, smiling as Esme hugged her. "I was scared that I wasn't gong to see her at all and Edward would be alone. Which reminds me, Edward, what exactly did I step in when I got out of bed?" "Hm? What did it look like?" "A white shell." "Oh...yeah...I meant to clean that up," Edward mumbled. "What was it?!" "Um...her placenta." "Eew you got placenta on your foot!" Carlisle teased. Alice giggled at that and everyone smiled. "Lucky for you Eddie is so slow about these things," Carlisle said handing Alice to Esme, "or you would have had to dig yourself out of a hole!" "I was extremely depressed if you recall! Besides, I had a baby to take care of and half a blood supply to replenish!" Carlisle laughed and hugged his brother's shoulders. "I'm just giving you a hard time little brother," he said with a beaming smile. "It's good that you're all safe. I was worried." "So how long are you staying here?" Bella asked. "I mean doesn't your wife wonder where you are?" "I'm thinking she's having an affair," Carlisle said. "Bummer," Edward mumbled, "looks like you're going to be stuck having sex with Esme." "Okay you're done," Esme said. She and Bella had taken their seats on the floor and Alice was laying between them. Bella changed her diaper while Esme disappeared to find some of the old baby toys. She appeared with a rattle and Alice was delighted. Bella shook it lightly for her and smiled as her daughter reached for it. A little crease formed between Alice's eyebrows as she failed to reach the little blue ball once again. "She reminds me of Edward when he was a baby," Esme laughed, "oh he hated it when we played this game. Remember Carlisle?" "Oh yeah. Remember when we tied it to a string from his mobile?" "I remember! He kept crying until he reached it! When he did he pulled so hard on it the entire thing came crashing down on his little head!" "Yes, infant brain injuries what could be more entertaining," Edward grumbled, "just remember that her head may be softer than mine was if you two decide to play dangerous games. You know what! No, no babysitting for you." Alice rolled onto her stomach and Bella applauded. "Oh! Oh! I've never seen her do that!"

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"When have you ever let her alone on the floor?" Edward asked. "Oh hush you this is exciting to me." Edward smiled and rolled off of the sofa. He crawled across the floor and Alice giggled clapping her hands. She arched her tiny back and reached for him. Edward lifted her up and cradled her lovingly. "Its hard to stop looking at her sometimes," he admitted. Bella crawled over and sat beside him. She peered over his shoulder and Alice jumped. She looked back to where Bella was and then back at her. Edward burst out laughing. "See she's like a human baby too," Esme said with a smile, "she doesn't understand some things." "That's a relief," Bella sighed, "I'm in there a little bit." "Let's hope she didn't inherit that temper of yours. I'll be doomed." "Oh really," Bella said icily. "Oh look she's smiling! Such a pretty smile!" "Don't use the baby to hide," Bella scolded. "Just for that," she reached over and lifted Alice from Edward's lap. She stuck her tongue out at him and he snapped playfully at her. He pushed his lips to hers, pushing her onto her back with Alice giggling between them. He kissed her long and deep, careful to keep from crushing his newborn. "Really guys?" Carlisle moaned. "You might want to leave then," Edward said with a wink. Carlisle made a face and Edward rolled onto his back laughing. Alice shifted to make herself comfortable on Bella's chest and yawned. "She's tired again?" "She was born a couple days ago, give her some slack," Bella defended with a bright smile. Edward stuck his tongue out at her and she replied with the same. Carlisle watched them and laughed. He had never seen his brother so carefree and happy. He had been so afraid when Edward told him that Bella died. Not only was he sad because the girl had become dear to him, but because his brother truly loved her. She wasn't just another notch on his bedpost. She was the girl that he saved from torture and protected. She was the girl he perused even after she told him there was no hope just because he loved her so dearly. Now he was laying on the floor of the living room with his love beside him and their daughter safe in their arms. "I set up your room Edward," Esme said, "both of you need to get your rest." "One of these days I'll be done sleeping," Edward grumbled. "I'll have to get used to not sleeping as much." Edward laughed and sat up. "Let's get her set up in her crib." Edward knelt down and carefully lifted the sleeping infant from Bella's chest and she stood. "I put the crib in your room, Edward," Carlisle said, "everything should be ready."

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"Thanks, you guys are great." He hugged them both and Alice's forehead received a kiss from her uncle and her aunt. Edward cradled her against his chest and held Bella's hand as they walked upstairs. It was strange walking up the stairs that were so familiar to her. She could see details in the carpet and the walls that she had missed before. She could smell things differently. She could smell the faint traces of her sister's blood left down the hall in Jasper's room. They reached Edward's room and it felt the same. Edward set Alice gently on the bed and pulled out her pajamas. He changed her and put her in the crib, kissing her forehead and smoothing her hair. He turned on the mobile and turned back to Bella. "What's wrong love?" "There's so many things I need to get used to. I can see details in everything that I missed before. I can think about so many things at the same time. It's just...weird." "Everything about us is weird," Edward sighed. He pulled off his shirt and Bella purred softly. He smiled back at her and she chose then to strip. She noticed that Edward was biting his lip as he watched her. She pulled a tank top on and that was it. He had to watch her long pale legs as she walked to the bathroom to brush her teeth and hair. She realized that toothpaste for vampires actually tasted pretty good. But then again she was a vampire. That was still a strange concept for her to get used to. She was a vampire. She would be with Edward as long as he was alive. She had her freedom. Not that Edward was going to keep the mother of his child in slavery, but to the world she was free. But she was what she hated. While Edward and his brothers were definite exceptions, vampires had killed her father and for what? He was killed for trying to defend his family. They were abused constantly. What would her mom have said if she were still alive? Or Alice if she were still alive? Her sister would have been thrilled. She would have been just as happy as Esme. Her mother would have been upset but she would have hidden it. "What's wrong?" Edward asked, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her cheek. "I'm going to need a while to get used to this." "Why?" "I've been human all my life. Now I'm something else. Something that I hated. I mean you know what my life has been like. I have always believed that humans were better than vampires because we weren't enslaving anybody. I mean when have you heard of a vampire family hiding underground and torn apart by a pack of humans?" "There are human extremists that hunt vampires." "But seriously, how many of them succeed." "Point taken." Bella sighed and looked in the mirror. She and Edward matched almost completely. That was strange for her. She was insanely beautiful. It was almost hard to look at her reflection. Bella knew she had never been one to feel plain but seeing how she looked now...well it's a wonder Edward found her attractive as a human. Everything about her was different. Not that she had been terrible looking as a human, but a lot of those changes were made when she came here. After Carlisle had used his medical expertise (which seemed to know

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no limits) and given both her and Alice perfect dental treatment, vaccinations and check ups she looked better. But still her hair had been coarse and her skin was different shades from tan to quite pale. "What are you thinking?" Edward asked, resting his head on her shoulder. "I don't know who I am," Bella whispered, "who I've become. I can't see any part of myself." "What do you mean?" "Everything about me has changed! I'm prettier and I smell different and I don't have a heartbeat and I can walk without tripping. Okay I don't miss the clumsy parts but I'm not who I was." "Look at me Bella," Edward said turning her, "yes you've changed. But what is important has stayed the same. You're still my funny loving Bella." "I'm a human in a vampire's body. I can't see any of my parents in me anymore. I feel like I'm a completely different person." Edward enveloped her in his arms and swayed softly. He let her sob into his shoulder as he smoothed her hair. "I can't say what parts of you are from your father, but I still see a lot of Renee in you. You still have that same spark in your eyes that I saw in her. Especially when she looked at you or Alice. The shape of your eyes is still the same even if the color isn't. Your smile is still the same. Most importantly, you're still the most beautiful girl I have ever had the pleasure to know." Bella sighed in defeat and let him console her. "I love you, kitten," he murmured. "Cullen you are going to be the death of me," she sighed walking back into the bedroom. Edward leaned against the wall while she finished getting ready for bed and checked on the baby. "Hey," he said gently. She looked up from the crib. "Marry me?" "Eh why not," she shrugged, "you're cute enough." Edward playfully tackled her onto the bed and pinned her below him. "Cute? I'm only cute?" Bella bit her lip and smiled up at him. "My handsome, dashing, mouth watering vampire," she whispered. "Your eyes are still the same," he whispered, "so expressive and deep. I can get lost in them." "Will you still get lost in them after we're together for years?" Bella asked. "After I get older and fatter." Edward laughed and nuzzled her cheek lightly. "My sweet do you know hard it is for vampires to put on weight?" "Come to think of it I have never seen a fat vampire," Bella admitted. "Oh yes you have, humans just have different definitions of fat. Seeing as they can put it on so easily. I mean think of all the things humans eat! Or at least the ones that aren't mistreated. Compare that to an all liquid diet."

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"And those chocolates you love so much." "If not for those I'd never have to poo." "Wow you use the bathroom?" "Where do you think the liquid goes?" Edward asked. "So I'm going to still have to use the bathroom?" "Yep." Bella let out an exasperated groan and Edward laughed. They both looked up when they heard Alice make a small noise in her sleep. She moaned in her sleep and stretched her little arms. Bella rolled out from under Edward and walked to the crib. She met a pair of brown eyes. "Well hello what are you doing up?" Alice made another noise as Bella lifted her. Edward watched them with a soft smile. He held out his hand and Bella came to him. He put a hand on Alice back as Bella sat beside him. He held her hand lightly and rubbed the back of her palm with his thumb. He laid back and Bella cuddled with him. She felt safe with his arm around her shoulders and their baby safe between them. Alice snuggled against Bella's chest and Edward smiled. "She likes those about as much as I do," Edward teased. "She just likes having a soft place to rest her head." "Exactly why I like them." --"How are they?" Esme asked, crawling into bed with Carlisle. "They're bonding. Bella's having some trouble dealing with her new body but they're both so happy with their baby." Esme snuggled into her lover's cold side. "I can't imagine what Edward must have been going through when Alice was born. To watch her die like that..." "I just hope that everything will be okay with Bella and the baby. I mean I don't exactly have a precedent to work with here. I mean I have never seen a half human baby or a human that has been turned into a vampire." "You expect problems?" "I don't expect anything. Except to have a nice quiet night with you." Esme giggled and Carlisle pulled the blankets over them. --Bella looked at Edward.

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"Is that...?" "You'll get used to it," Edward sighed. TBC DC: I don't own it Thanks to my reviewers! So I'm glad I'm not the only one who was wondering where Edward was in BD. I mean her focus totally switched from three books of EdwardEdwardEdwardOMGEdward! to babeh! It's like Edward is somewhere in the background like erm...hi remember me? So I gets to hold the baby too? Seriously I got the impression that Edward didn't like the baby. Or maybe he just didn't get the chance to between the monopoly duo that was Bella Cullen and Jacob Black (when Rosalie wasn't like all ur baby belong to me). For those that asked: at the end of the last chapter Bella was hearing Carlisle and Esme having sex with her brand new vampire hearing. Edward's just very used to it so he doesn't even notice anymore. Chapter 24, Bella had never been to a vampire hospital before so she didn't know what to expect when she and Edward walked in. Even Alice, who usually spent her time babbling to herself or to her parents, was a little on edge. She sat silently in her mother's arms with her face buried in her hair. That earned a soft chuckle from her father. "What?" Bella asked. "She's sweet," Edward said with a smile, patting Alice's back. "She thinks that if she can't see anyone then nobody can see her." Bella giggled and tilted her head gently against her baby's. They walked up to the receptionist and she gave Edward a gentle smile. "Hey Edward I haven't seen you around in a while," she said. "I've been out of town," he said, "is Carlisle around?" "Yes, he'll be out in a moment," the woman said tossing her deep black hair over her shoulder to reveal her lower cut blouse. "I heard you got accepted to an Ivy league school." "I did indeed. And you?" "Oh this is just a day job," she said tilting her head to show of a little more of her ivory neck. Bella was thankful she was holding her baby or she would have jumped over the counter and choked the woman. She had never been so jealous before. Maybe it was because the receptionist was broadcasting her thoughts at top volume. God Edward I want to fuck you all over again. Oh best night ever!

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"Well, Laura, it was a pleasure seeing you again." "Why don't you stay and chat until your brother gets here? It's been so long since we last talked." She put her hand over his and smiled a dazzling smile. She batted her thick lashes at him and Bella felt like she was going to burst. Edward pulled his hand away and she frowned slightly. "I miss you Eddie," Laura continued, shifting so he got a better look at her chest. "Darling, could you take her?" Bella asked, getting more than fed up with this Laura girl and her flirting. "Of course," Edward said smiling a bright smile at her. He tried to take Alice but she whined. It seemed she was quite content with her hiding spot. "What's wrong baby girl?" he asked softly. "She's a little shy," Bella guessed as she bounced Alice gently. "Laura I want you to meet Bella," Edward said, "and my daughter Alice." "It's a pleasure to meet you Bella," Laura said sounding less than friendly, she didn't even acknowledge the baby. "Edward, Bella, there you are. Oh and you brought Alice lovely!" Alice turned her head slightly and Carlisle gave her head a kiss. He led them back into a private room. The air around Bella was a little cooler. "Nervous?" "No," she said stiffly, "hey how about while I get the tests done you can go back and catch up with your friend." "Who Laura?" "Oh right Edward I should have told you she worked here." "Bella sweetie I don't even care about her," Edward insisted as they turned into a private room. "I can't help it if girls flirt with me." "You can at least stop it," she snapped. Feeling sufficiently awkward Carlisle cleared his throat. "Okay I'm going to do simple tests here. Bella I need you to change into this gown. Edward can you help her?" She's going to have to get a pap and a breast exam as well so make sure you tell her. "Carlisle be reasonable!" "You said you wanted every test and I need to make sure that ever part is safe. I'll get a nurse..." "That part is very safe I promise you," Edward grumbled, "I don't want some stranger pawing around down there."

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"Down where?!" Bella cried, "what is going to happen down there?" "It's a simple test for any infections. Quite simply a doctor, myself or a female if you prefer, will check your vagina for any problems." Bella's jaw dropped. "Can't Edward do it?" she asked in a panicked voice. "Way to go Carlisle." "We'll save that for later," Carlisle sighed rubbing the bridge of his nose, "just get into the gown." Edward held Alice while Bella undressed. The baby seemed to calm in her father's arms and they both watched Bella get undressed (one a little more interested in the other) and then her alarm when she saw the hospital gown. "Um...Edward..." "Yes the gown is backless," Edward said, "if you in the hall everyone will see that sexy behind of yours." "I am keeping these on," she said pointing to her panties, making a face at Edward's pout. She held Alice while Edward tied the gown for her. He gave her backside a little squeeze and Bella elbowed him. "Do behave while you're here!" "What could be more fun than nailing you in a doctors office." "Alright you two are obviously done," Carlisle said walking in. "Bella I'm going to take some of your blood and then do some standard tests. I'm going to take some blood from Alice as well. Okay and as much as I know you don't want one, you have to get a breast and vaginal exam which can either be done by myself or a female doctor." "Can't Edward do it?" Bella asked again. "No for two reasons, one being Edward isn't properly trained and two we would be here all day and I don't allow sexual activities in the office." "Thanks Carlisle," Edward grumbled. "Fine, but make it quick." "My pleasure," Carlisle said, "now sit on the edge of the bed there and I'm going to put your feet up here. You'll have to take your underwear off obviously." Bella inched out of her panties. She sat on the edge of the bed and Carlisle helped her with placing her feet. She laid back and Carlisle put on gloves. "I'm going to start with the breast exam, I'll simply be checking for any defects." "Defects?" "Blood clots are common in vampires. They form lumps under the skin in the tissue before they show in color. If I can find a lump before the coloration it's easily treated."

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Bella stiffened when Carlisle's hands moved around her breast in circles, applying soft pressure as he went. He was very professional. He kept his jaw set and his face was neutral. He crossed to do the second and Bella felt very awkward. He moved to her abdomen and checked the faint scar from Edward's c-section. "I'll need to do an x-ray to see if there has been any damage from your pregnancy." "Fair enough," Bella mumbled. He sat down on the stool at the end of the table. "Okay Bella do you want me to tell you what I'm doing as I do it?" "Nope. Edward give me the baby." Alice was set on Bella's chest which she seemed happy about. Edward held her hand and Carlisle got to work. "You'll feel a pinch." "What do you mean...!" Bella made a strange yip like noise when she felt the pinch. She gripped Edward's hand tight and closed her eyes. "Are you alright Bella?" Carlisle asked. Bella squeezed her eyes closed and nodded. Edward brushed his hand over her forehead lightly. "Almost done honey you're doing great." Edward kept rubbing Bella's forehead in a soothing way. He took Alice gently as Carlisle finished and Bella jumped out of the stirrups. She was in her panties just as quickly. "Everything looks healthy Bella, I didn't find any lumps and I'm afraid this is going to have to be a regular visit. Once a year for as long as you're sexually active." Bella groaned and Edward patted her back. "Now I need to get some blood drawn," Carlisle said, "so I'll have you take a seat here." Bella sat and Carlisle found her vein easily enough. He stuck a needle into it and Bella winced before wondering just how strong that needle was. Her blood was different. Instead of deep red it was light. Carlisle filled a few vials and pulled the needle out. He held a piece of cotton against her skin for a brief moment and then it was Alice's turn. Carlisle labeled the vials and Edward put Alice on Bella's lap. "Now this needle is much thinner," Carlisle said, "so it won't hurt her as much. Edward could you distract her please?" "Are you sure this is a good idea?" Edward asked nervously. "Edward you know as well as I do that she'll be able to handle it. Don't you remember getting blood drawn when you were a baby?" "Well...that isn't the point." Edward knelt down and Alice's attention was on him. He covered her eyes with one hand and Bella rested her chin lightly on the top of her head. She took a moment to think about how big her baby was. She held Alice's little arm for Carlisle and he found her vein. Alice was delightfully unaware of what was about to happen until

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the needle pricked her skin. Then all hell broke loose. She started screaming and wailing at the top of her tiny lungs but her arm was trapped in the vice hands of her uncle and mother. Edward sang softly to her and Bella murmured in her ear while Carlisle filled two vials of blood. The blood was darker than Bella's hand been but lighter than a human's. When he was done Carlisle pulled the needle out and held cotton to her arm. He reached over and grabbed a little packet from a jar on his desk. "What is that?" Bella asked. "Its a special treat for babies," Carlisle said. "Aw I want one," Edward whined. "Aw Edward grow up," Carlisle mocked. He tore open the packet and pulled out a little tablet. "Here go you pretty girl." He put the tablet in her mouth and Bella saw it dissolve instantly. Alice calmed down just as quickly. She sucked on her tongue a bit and then giggled. "It's like giving a child a blood pop or a candy but it dissolves instantly and is safe for them." He grabbed a packet and tossed it to Edward. "Observe." Edward seemed delighted when he put the tablet in his mouth. "Would you like one?" Carlisle asked. "Sure," Bella mumbled. She took one and tasted it. It was very sweet and tasted like O blood. Alice was calmer now. From what Bella could hear she had completely forgotten being upset. --The tests took almost all day. At the end of it all Carlisle was happy and slightly surprised to tell them that Bella was a fully functional and healthy vampire. Edward was overjoyed. His love was no longer going to age severely and die decades before him. He could legally marry her and if anyone ever messed with her again, not only would they have him to deal with but the law. So naturally he expected the same joyous reaction from Bella. What he got however was Bella's blank expression. She stood up with Alice in her arms and walked out of the room. She walked down the hall and turned into the bathroom. She set Alice on the changing table and dug into the small diaper bag she had slung over her shoulder. Her daughter didn't need a diaper change but Bella needed an excuse to get away. Of course the excuse would have been more effective if she had said anything. Not that it mattered anyway. Alice seemed willing to help and laid a nice present for her mom. Bella laid her down and unbuttoned the crotch of the onesie Alice wore. She took off the smelly diaper and dropped it in the trash. She got some wipes out of the small case they carried in the bag and held Alice's feet while she wiped her clean. Her hand was so pale against her daughter's little feet. Or was it only so pale because she was so aware of it? Nobody else seemed to notice the pink tone in Alice's skin and her dark eyes were dismissed as a rare genetic trait. Well it was a rare genetic trait. How many half human vampire babies existed?! The world as Bella knew

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it was turned upside down and she was standing in a hospital bathroom changing a diaper as a vampire washed their hands beside her. She wasn't be kicked aside or ignored as she was when she was human. She wasn't caring for her master's baby but her fiance's baby. She was going to be married to a vampire. For some reason Bella hoped that the tests would come back differently, like she would learn that she was vampire on the outside but she was still human. She didn't fully understand exactly why this was so terrible. After all she had all she wanted (aside from her parents and sister) now. She had Edward, she had her baby, she was loved and adored by both and she had her freedom. It was a pleasure she hadn't experienced in years. "You wait here." "Yes ma'am." Bella looked over and saw a woman wearing grimy clothing with matted cropped hair and her head hung low. She waited obediently for her mistress to finish and when she did the human girl washed her hands for her. Bella watched them. Just days ago she was that girl. Just two years ago she was being dragged from room to room in a frightening warehouse where she would be sold. Two years ago she was being viciously raped by a lusting vampire because she was human. She looked in the mirror again and she didn't see herself. She saw the red eyes of the creatures that destroyed almost every part of her world and the creatures who had become her world. Two halves of a whole. The good and the bad. Her hands slipped and fumbled as she put a new diaper on. Alice sucked on her fingers and squirmed a little. Bella picked her up and held her securely against her chest. Things were moving too fast. She could process everything around her, ever speck on the tile floor and every tiny microscopic break in the tile walls. She took off at a run with her baby in her arms. She ran down the hall and out of the hospital into the bright sunlight where her skin burst into glittering diamonds. Around her vampires walked and shined with the occasional human in tow. Edward appeared by her side moments later. He took her hand and they silently went to the parking lot where his volvo was waiting. Bella put Alice in her seat and then slid into the passenger side. They drove in silence, listening to the radio and the passing traffic. "This song reminds me of you," Edward murmured. Bella looked up at him and smiled. The song was a slower tune about a girl who lost everything but still kept going. When they got to the chorus Edward sang along softly. Bella smiled and reached for his hand. "You'll get used to this," he promised. "How do you know?" she asked, "I mean really Edward how many times have you changed species?" "Admittedly none, but I know you. You adapt to things. You don't just lay down and let yourself lose. You're a fighter." "I don't feel like one," she mumbled. Edward chuckled and kissed her hand. He pulled into the mansion driveway and they got out. Edward took the baby and they walked inside. Esme was waiting for them with lunch and ready to hear how their day went. Bella and Edward told her and while Bella talked about the tests Edward grabbed a bottle for Alice. He tuned out of the conversation and watched her eat. Alice sucked on the nipple and looked up at him. He smiled and she smiled back. He dabbed a little from the corner of her mouth with a wash cloth. Alice wasn't able to hold the bottle herself yet so Edward held it for her. She put her little hands on the plastic.

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"You aren't that big yet cutie," he told her in a soft voice. "Even if you were daddy likes his job too much to hand it over so soon." Alice gave him a defiant look that she inherited from her mother and put her hand over his fingers. "Nope, not yet princess." She kicked her little legs a little and Edward smiled again. He kissed her forehead and nuzzled it lovingly. Alice made a little grunt and pushed on the bottle. "You finished the whole thing! Good girl!" Edward put the bottle aside and shifted her to his other arm. She reached up and he leaned down to see what she wanted. Her little fingers grabbed at his cheek and nose. She found his hair and seemed very interested in that. Edward pulled his head back before she could get a good grip and smiled. "Her hair is getting darker," he observed, "thicker." "She's growing normally. Or at least that's what Carlisle said." "For the first month vampire babies grow pretty rapidly," Esme said, "then they slow down. It's a defense thing." "Lovely," Bella muttered. "Just as long as she doesn't grow claws and fangs and try to eat me we're good." "But you taste so yummy," Edward purred. Bella rolled her eyes and Esme giggled. "What's wrong honey?" "Nothing," Bella said, "nothing at all." "Your tone was very short, tell me." "Is this about Laura because if it is I'm really sorry." "How many Laura's can I expect to run into?" Bella asked. Edward was silent, either thinking of the actual number or a way to defuse the situation. Esme had a strange smug look on her face having told Edward that being such a player would certainly get him into trouble someday. "That many huh?" "Well there's a difference!" "What kind of difference?" Bella growled. "Girls I dated versus just...you know." "You are such a pig!" Bella cried. "Well it's not like I'm doing them now!"

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Bella folded her arms and gave him a very icy look. Edward felt a little afraid of her in that moment. Human Bella had a very adorable way of glaring at him and it had very much to do with the fact that she was a hundred times weaker than he was. Now she was a vampire with the same strength and she was not happy with him right now. "Look, Bella, yeah I was a little wild. I've been sexually active since I was fourteen." "Man slut," Esme muttered. "Thank you Esme," he grumbled, "anyway I've probably slept with about ten girls give or take. Only five of them I truly cared about and one of them I am completely and irrevocably in love with. Honey why are you so upset about this?" Bella didn't answer but Edward guessed. He passed Alice to Esme and came up to Bella. He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and kissed the back of her head. "Are you worried that I'm going to leave you?" "Yes." Edward hugged her tighter. "Bella you don't have to worry about that. I love you more than anything. You and Alice are my family and my life." "But what if you realize that you love who I was better than who I am!" "Baby nobody could love you more than I do. You're the one I want to spend forever with. I got this while you were getting tested." Edward reached into his pocket and pulled out a little box. He opened it and took out a beautiful diamond set on a silver band. He took her hand and slipped it on her finger. "I have never wanted to spend forever with someone before. I never held someone in my arms and thought that I was truly blessed because she loved me until I held you. I did horrible things to you Bella and yet here you are, loving me and giving me everything. Don't be jealous of other girls because I don't even notice them. They are nothing to me." "I'm sorry Edward I'm just really emotional right now," Bella said, turning to hug him properly. "I love you too." "You two are just too much," Esme sighed with a smile. "Isn't that right pretty baby?" I'll watch the baby for you, Edward Edward smiled and pulled Bella out of the chair. He pulled her onto his back and ran up the stairs. Bella held on tight and wondered where they were going. She had a nice idea of what he had planned. She was right. Edward swung her around and laid her gently on the bed. She grabbed his neck and pulled his head hard against her lips. Edward smiled as he tasted her all over again. He was anxious to explore every inch of her new body and see if she was still the same sexually. He was excited to be able to let go. He can hold her as tight as he wanted to and make love to her the way she deserved. He also didn't have to worry about breaking anything.

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Bella laid still. Edward slowly undressed her. It was almost torture how slow he was going. He kissed her stomach as he pulled her pants down and he admired every bit of skin that was being revealed to him. He pulled her panties off equally slow, watching her slender legs as they bent slightly and touching her smooth marble skin. Bella sat up as he slowly peeled off her shirt and took off her bra. She still had faint scars from her human life. Scars from when his father beat her and when he sloppily cut her open to save their baby. "So are you going to get naked too?" Bella asked, breaking him out of his visual exploration. He smiled his crooked smile and sat still. Bella shifted and pulled his shirt off slowly. She kissed his skin as she lifted his shirt. She stopped over his chest and Edward stiffened a little wondering what she was going to do. Bella loved his chest. She loved the perfect cut of his muscles and the general shape of him. She put one hand against his chest. Edward gasped as her soft tongue flicked over his nipple and her thumb brushed over the other one. Bella smiled and kissed slowly up his chest, pressing her hips lightly against his. "Bella...!" Bella pulled his shirt off. When it was over his eyes she tightened her fist, stretching the shirt over his eyes and pinning his arms as well. He was surprised but he smiled. "Crafty," he murmured, "I can get out of this no problem." "Mmm but you like this shirt," Bella whispered. She pushed him back and sat on his hips. She slowly kissed along his collarbone, letting her tongue brush against his skin. She nipped lightly at his skin and he moaned. Bella saw him bite his lip trying to keep from ripping free and taking her then and there. He could feet the heat from her groin against his and he had never hated jeans more. He could feel his penis straining against the denim, trying to reach into the warmth above. Briefly he wondered if his pants were in danger of splitting. He had never been teased like this before and usually he was quite naked long before the breaking point. "What's wrong Edward?" Bella purred against his neck. "Well I can't see and I'm not in you." "You're used to being in control aren't you?" Bella whispered against his lips. She smiled to herself and kissed his ear through his shirt. "I'm so wet...so warm and tight...mmm Edward..." She rubbed her hips against his erection. Edward took a sharp breath. He could feel how wet she was. "Oh fuck it," he grunted. He ripped out of the shirt and tore his pants off. He pushed Bella onto her back and quickly pushed his aching erection into her. Bella cried out and gripped his shoulders. One of her knees was bent over his shoulder, a position that would have snapped her leg when she was human as he was still pushing himself in completely. In the first couple thrusts she could see that he had been holding back when she was frail and human. Now he was putting all the strength he wished into their sex. Her body withstood it all (shocking her completely) and it felt better than she could have imagined. "Edward! Faster!" "As you wish," he grunted with a smile. He sped up and felt her body stiffen. Her hand gripped the back of his neck. "Bella...baby..." "Yes...Edward...oh god..."

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Edward felt her orgasm. He quit thrusting and pushed all the way into her, letting her squeeze him to his own release. He knew he should probably have pulled out at least or used some sort of protection but it didn't matter at the moment. They would talk about that later. He was just about to suggest round two when Carlisle burst in. "Dude knock much?!" Edward cried. "Sorry sorry!" Carlisle covered his eyes quickly and Edward pushed blankets up against Bella's chest. "Oh god my eyes." "What exactly do you want?" Edward demanded. "And be quick about it!" "Why do you have some prior engagement?" Carlisle asked mildly. "I haven't had sex with my fiance since we found out she was pregnant! One fabulous round isn't going to be enough." "Fiance? Well congratulations you two," Carlisle said in his usually light tone, ignoring the twitch in Edward's eye. "I'd throw you a wedding shower but well father is going to be here in about an hour so if you don't want to be on the wrong end of that revenge that he's been saving up for you the next time you two meet I'd say it's time to go." Edward swore quietly and sighed, turning to Bella who was already dressing even though Carlisle was right there. Edward groaned and Carlisle gave him look. Bella walked out and Edward heard her soft footsteps turn down the stairs. "I'm sorry," Carlisle said, "I was sure we'd have more time." "Don't worry about it." "Talk to me Edward." Edward sighed, putting a new shirt on. "Is this really the time?" "Brief me." "I don't want my daughter growing up in the middle of nowhere. I want her to grow up here where she can know you and Esme and, you know, people!" Carlisle put a comforting arm around his brother's shoulders. He had done a lot of growing up over the past months. Carlisle sometimes forgot that he was just nineteen. But he could see the teenager in his brother right now, battling with the new father and responsible adult. "If I hadn't gone against him..." "He was going to hurt Bella either way. Don't you understand Edward? You're free of him. You don't live under his control. You always wanted to impress him and to earn his love but you realized that you don't need it. You've already become a better father than he could ever hope to be because when you believed that Bella was dead you still loved your baby." "I don't want to keep running from him forever."

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Carlisle squeezed his shoulders and gave him a brief kiss on the temple. "You won't have to." Edward smiled up at his brother. "He's old he'll die soon with any luck." "Very comforting Carlisle," Edward sighed. He smiled anyway and the two vampires walked out to meet their girls. Bella was hugging Esme goodbye when they came downstairs. Esme was fussing as usual, making sure that Alice was dressed warmly and they had enough blood to last them the trip. She came up to Edward and hugged him tight. "Come and see us again soon okay, you know how I worry about you." "I know Esme. You don't have to worry about me." "Next time the old man leaves for a while you two have to come back. There's no way I'm missing my brother's wedding." Edward was hugging his older brother when he heard someone come in. He immediately grabbed Bella and pulled her near him but Carlisle gave him a look and he reluctantly moved away from her. "I thought I smelled something awful," Lord Cullen sighed as he walked into the living room. He looked older than the last time they had seen him. Bella noticed that his eyes, still cold and fierce, were tired. He was starting to sleep again. His gold hair looked paler somehow. "Hello Edward it's been a while. I believe I have some favors to return." "I was just leaving," Edward said, "I'd rather not stay if it means being near you." "I remember just a year ago you were dying for my affections." "I was young and stupid," Edward growled, "I'm done jumping through hoops for you. I'm choosing my own life." "I'll decide what you will and will not choose. You've done such a poor job as it is. Tell me Edward where is your little human? The one you were so desperate to protect? I see only three vampires, an infant and a human." Edward clenched his fists. "She died." "How did she die?" "Complications." "Tell the truth Edward, I know when you're lying." Edward grit his teeth. "I killed her by accident." Lord Cullen threw his head back and laughed. It was a strange sound and very different from any of his son's.

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Bella felt chills race up and down her spine when she heard it. "Well then was it worth it?" "Yes," Edward growled. Lord Cullen used his superior speed to trap Edward just as he tried to dodge. He snagged his arm and held him by the throat. "Let's see if your opinion changes after I've given you your punishment." He pulled Edward so close their noses were touching. Edward could see the fury in his eyes. "When I'm through with you you'll wish that you had died with your mother. Carlisle." "Yes, father?" "Take your brother to the basement, dismiss your guest and send Esme to her quarters." Carlisle closed his eyes and nodded. Esme gave him a look that nobody could read. Her mind was empty of thought besides worry for Edward. "Esme, show her out." Bella looked at him and seemed hesitant when Esme took her arm. "Come now," she said quietly. Edward looked at Carlisle as he grabbed his arm. He jerked it free. "Edward I am stronger than you and I taught you most everything you know." "Carlisle..." Edward began. "Carlisle," Lord Cullen said casually with a glint in his eye, "give him a warm up. You know my expectations." "Yes, father," Carlisle said. His hand tightened around his brother's upper arm. Edward struggled but Carlisle was indeed stronger than he was. Bella turned but Esme kept pulling her. Lord Cullen watched his two sons disappear into his private torture chamber and a twisted smile spread over his lips. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 25, Bella can you hear me? Bella nodded once as she and Esme walked through the foyer. I know you're upset, but please stay calm. Lord Cullen doesn't know who you are. He can't know that you or Alice have any value to Edward. I know this is hard for you. "Why is Carlisle..." Not so loud he can hear you! Now, there is a park down the street. I need you to go there and stay there.

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Edward will be fine I promise you. Bella looked at Esme with disbelief written all over her face. Esme looked at her sadly. What other choice do you have? You might be able to survive whatever will happen if he finds out that Edward loves you, but Alice certainly will not. Carlisle will think of something, he always does. --Carlisle sat on the icy ground with his hands buried in his hair. He heard his father's footsteps but didn't look up. Edward laid beside him. He was silent. It was better that way. Carlisle didn't want to hear anything. The events of the past twenty four hours rushed through his head and he was sure Edward was watching. He was watching Carlisle in his memory, looking at his watch, tapping his finger impatiently on the wheel. He felt the feeling of concern and worry as time went on and there was no sign of his child. The phone rang. Edward could hear the memory of his father's voice. Carlisle? What would you do if your daughter was in danger? Edward saw it all. Carlisle banging the wheel with his fist, demanding where Anna was. His father's cold silky voice replying that she would be safe only if he did something. Your brother is home. I want you to make him think that he'll outrun me again. Give him that scrap of hope Carlisle, before you help me punish him. After that you may have your child back. "Well done Carlisle. That wasn't so hard was it?" "I did as you said," Carlisle mumbled. "Yes, you did. Like a good son should." "Where is Anna?!" "She's safe," Lord Cullen said kneeling down. "I'll return her to you when I'm done here. I want you to sit here and watch. Let it be a warning to you." Lord Cullen stood and kicked Edward in the stomach. "Let it remind you that this is what happens when you go against me." He stomped on Edward's chest. Carlisle flinched and Edward coughed. "This is what happens when you forget that I am Lord." Another swift kick, this time into the young vampire's spine. "Now you're probably asking yourself," Lord Cullen said, kneeling to pick Edward up, "why I made you keep him here. And why I made you beat him." He fastened Edward's wrists with chains made to withstand the strength of a vampire. Edward leaned against the wall he was chained to for support.

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"It's because you raised him." Edward didn't make a sound as his father's fist hit his jaw. "You taught him everything he knows." Another hard hit. Edward coughed and spit blood and venom out of his mouth. "You betrayed me and your mother by caring for the monster that killed her." Carlisle turned his head away and wasn't the least bit surprised when he felt his father's hard hand across his jaw. He grabbed his eldest and pushed him up against the wall by his youngest. Edward glanced over. The two vampires were silent. Carlisle was looking at his father with empty eyes and Lord Cullen looked furious. In the strangest times Edward could see bits of himself in his father. This was one of those moments. They had the same temper. The same desire to get exactly what they wanted no matter what. After all how many times did Bella tell Edward no before he finally convinced her that she loved him? What had his first reaction been when Bella was reported missing? He had been angry that some other vampire had what was his. Was this his future? Was this the father he was going to be? The questions scared him. He wanted to be more like Carlisle. Kind and gentle and compassionate. He wanted to have the air of wisdom about him that his brother seemed to master. Most of all he wanted to be able to make the tough choices that Carlisle had to make. Edward knew in that moment that Carlisle was very aware of his key involvement in his little brother's upbringing was why his father was displeased in him. When it came down to it, Edward was more of a son to his brother than a sibling. "Leave him out of this," Edward growled, "you're problem is with me." "How sentimental," Lord Cullen growled. "Carlisle you rubbed off on him." Edward watched his father leave Carlisle and approach him. "Tell me what happened to that human girl you were so desperate to protect." "She died," Edward said quietly looking down. He winced when his father slapped him. "Don't lie to me boy," he snarled, "I may not have your mind reading abilities but I know when you're lying to me." "She died in an accident," Edward said. "She was pregnant and she died in the birth." Lord Cullen raised his eyebrows. "She was your lover was she not?" "She had been raped when she went to the market. The baby resulted." "You expect me to believe that?" he asked smoothly. Edward nodded and was hit again. "I will find out where you are hiding her and when I do," Lord Cullen's lips pulled back into a vicious sneer, "I'll kill her slowly in front of you..." "Yes, yes, so that I can watch as the only woman I ever loved is taken away while I stand by helpless," Edward finished, cutting him off, "you're full of shit." Carlisle shot his brother a warning look and Lord Cullen's eyes flashed angrily.

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"What did you say to me?" he growled "You heard me! You're full of shit! You chained me up! You couldn't take me unless I was weakened and bound! That's why you had Carlisle beat me first! Because you knew I wouldn't fight back after knowing what you were using against him. You're just a bitter old man who can't get his head out of the past. You killed mom, not me. I'm your son. I'm your genetics. It was you that put me in her." Edward shut the hell up he can kill you! "He won't," Edward told Carlisle. His father looked at him with cold hard eyes. "I'm not afraid of you anymore." It was a flat out lie. He was terrified of his father. But what he found was that he wasn't scared of what would happen to him, but to Bella. What would happen if the violent elder vampire got ahold of his fiance? Or worse, half human daughter? "I can see your mind racing. Your eyes betray everything. You are afraid of my power." "I'm afraid of your madness." Lord Cullen seemed to be tired of talking and figured that his son had been delaying the beating by keeping the conversation. "Stop it!" Carlisle said finally. "Are you really going to give orders to the person who has control over your daughter's life?" Lord Cullen asked as he hit Edward again, this time in the stomach. Edward was almost unconscious. He was slumped over with only the chains keeping him up. The metal was digging into his skin and rosy blood was bubbling along the top of the cuff. "What are you trying to prove?" Carlisle asked, his voice pleading. "You can see that you've had your revenge!" "But there is so much more he needs to pay for, remember that." "Mom loved him! Don't you remember that?" "I don't care! He took her from me! He doesn't deserve to live! The law states that murder is punished by death!" "If you're going to kill him then you'll have to go through me!" "Oh really?" Lord Cullen asked, folding his arms and looking at his eldest. "And what are you going to tell yourself as you weep over your daughter's body? Tell yourself that it was all to save your precious little brother. Well Carlisle what is your answer? Anna or Edward?" Edward could see the swirls of panic and terror in Carlisle's mind. Memories were overlapping. The hospital room with Carrie laying on the bed and his newborn in his arms with Edward, Jasper, Emmett and Rosalie all around. Their father's face swam through, miserable and broken, and a newborn Edward in his brother's arms. Carlisle was, by all intensive purposes, a father at fifteen. He and Esme raised Edward, cared for him when he

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was sick and told him stories before he went to sleep. They sheltered him and loved him. The sweet blonde angel smiled at him. She was so young and vulnerable. Edward could see the inner turmoil in his brother's mind. Carlisle closed his eyes and dropped his head. When it came down to it, he was a father first. As much as it tore his heart. Carlisle looked back at Edward, trying to silently tell him how sorry he was, before he moved aside. --"I'm going to enjoy this," Lord Cullen promised. "Makes sure you watch now Carlisle. This was your choice after all." Edward couldn't move to look up so his father helped him. He grabbed a fist full of his bloody matted hair and forced his head up. Edward could see a dribble of blackish red leak out of the corner of his father's mouth and he was truly scared of the vampire. Or at least he would have been if he had the energy to be. "This is for your mother, she'll look down to see you burning in hell." "You first," Edward rasped. Lord Cullen laughed, more blackish red venom seeped down his chin. He pulled Edward's head back and bit down on his neck. Edward screamed as the toxic venom spread. He screamed in worse pain as the sharp teeth jerked and tore through his shoulder. Carlisle was on top of his father, his mouth dripping with venom. The two vampires hissed and snarled at each other, rolling around and fighting. Carlisle, though very against violence, was a strong fighter. "What the hell!" Carlisle didn't look over. He couldn't afford that. He kept clawing and biting his father anywhere he could. He sustained his own damage. He had deep gashes on his cheek and his chest. When they rolled again and Lord Cullen was pinning Carlisle it wasn't for long. The big boulder of a vampire that was Emmett McCarty crashed into the side of his father-in-law. "What the hell is your problem?!" he demanded. Carlisle pushed Emmett out of the way and pounced. He sank his teeth into his father's neck and released all the venom he could. He wouldn't kill the old man. He didn't know how to create the venom he needed. Besides, he had more important things to worry about. But when he turned he saw that Bella was already dealing with it. "Edward! Edward say something!" "Bella he's been poisoned. It's a rare venom that can kill but I need to suck..." Carlisle was cut off by shock when Bella put her mouth to Edward's shoulder and began sucking out the venom. She spit mouth fulls of blood and venom onto the floor. She held onto Edward's head as she did, helping him stay against her as he so liked. "Bella..." "I can't taste anymore," she said. She then bit her wrist and tore the skin off. "Edward, please drink."

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Carlisle looked down and saw how much blood he had lost just from having the venom taken out. Bella had noticed too. She was giving him her blood to keep him alive. Carlisle had to admit he was truly touched. Edward pulled his head back and Bella looked at him. "I don't want to take too much," he whispered, "I'll survive." "You'd better," Bella warned. "Or I'll follow you and drag you back myself." "How about we get out of here first," Emmett suggested. He grabbed the keys from Lord Cullen's pocket and freed Edward. Bella caught him as he fell forward and pulled him onto her back. "I got you," she said. "Don't worry." "I'm just happy to see you again," he whispered, nuzzling weakly against her neck, "where is Alice?" "Safe," Bella promised. They reached the light and Edward winced. Esme shrieked in surprise and rushed to Edward. Carlisle pulled her aside and held her to keep her calm. "Daddy!" "Anna!" Carlisle rushed the length of the room and scooped his daughter up in one swift motion. He held her tight and kissed her golden head. Edward looked over at him. He saw that Carlisle's face was buried in Anna's little shoulder and he was crying silently as he rocked with her in his arms. He kept kissing her head and hugging her. "Daddy I was so scared!" "I know baby," Carlisle sobbed, "daddy won't let anyone hurt you ever again." "Esme where is Alice?" Bella asked, looking away to give Carlisle some privacy. Esme took Alice from a bassinet and Bella smiled. Edward held onto her while she reached out for her child. Alice was asleep in her arms and they were quite happy to keep it that way. Edward slid off of Bella's back and crumpled instantly. Emmett supported him and Bella helped him hold Alice. "I thought I would never see you two again," Edward mumbled, "Bells I can't say how much I need you." "Then let's get out of here," she said, "we'll run away and start a life that's just ours." Edward nodded. He weakly kissed his daughter on the forehead and then kissed Bella on the lips. "You would unlock the secret to mutant spawn and creating vampires," Emmett sighed. Edward laughed weakly and rocked his baby. "Thank you Emmett," Bella said, "I didn't think you'd believe me." "No problem," Emmett assured her. "After all they're my brothers. Someone has to bail them out now that

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Jasper's gone. I am sorry to hear about your sister though." "Thank you," Bella said, looking at her baby, "I miss her so much sometimes." "That's to be expected. I miss my brother sometimes too." Bella smiled at the bigger vampire and he ruffled her hair gently. She could hear the whisper of his mind saying how good she was for Edward. "What are we going to do now?" Bella asked. "Well we're going to get out of here," Carlisle answered. He reached for Esme's hand and she came to him. "All of us." Edward smiled at his brother and put his arm around Bella for support. Alice was tucked safely in his arm, secure against his side. Bella helped him walk out to the volvo. Carlisle took the keys and Esme sat in the front. They moved the car seat to the back and Emmett appeared with their bags. They packed the trunk and promised to send for the rest (until then it would be with Emmett at his home) before hugging goodbye. Edward leaned his head on Bella's shoulder and Anna sat at the window, behind Carlisle. As they drove off Edward briefly kissed Bella. He put one shaky hand on Alice's small chest and felt her fluttering heart. She cooed and put her hand on his fingers. Bella laid her head against Edward's and smiled. They were going home and they were going to be safe. She could only hope it could last. TBC DC: I don't own it Thank you to my reviewers Chapter 26, Bella woke up and stretched. She rubbed her eyes and looked around. Edward was gone, his side of the bed was tidy (for once) and the bathroom light was off. Bella noticed that it was daytime and by the look of it sometime in the afternoon. She got out of bed and walked out. She heard activity downstairs so she decided to go take a look. Edward was laying on the floor with his hands casually behind his head and Alice at his side, while Carlisle and Anna had the sofa. They were watching a children's movie and Anna was pretty happy about it. She bounced happily and clapped along with the songs. Esme, who was sitting with Carlisle's feet in her lap, smiled over at them. It was a picture of a perfect family and it made Bella smile. The picture halted however when they noticed her presence. Edward sprang up (disturbing Alice who didn't enjoy that as much) and Carlisle shifted Anna so he too could get up. Edward ran to Bella and swept her into his arms. "You're awake," he said happily after he kissed her. "I overslept by a few hours, no big deal honey." "Actually you've been asleep for a few days," Carlisle said. Bella was set down and he gave her a quick check up. "Say ahh."

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Bella opened her mouth but she didn't verbalize it. "You had some venom that got into your system. Less than expected but enough to make you sick. You'll probably feel a little weak." "Is she okay though?" Edward asked, pulling her gently to him. Carlisle nodded. "Let's get you some blood. We're watching Sleeping Beauty." Bella smiled, "how cute." Bella went over and scooped up her baby who looked more than delighted to see her, and walked into the kitchen with Edward. He warmed some blood for her and while he waited he watched as Bella kissed her baby and coddled her. "You've healed nicely," she said looking at him. "Yeah, I suppose. I'll have a scar from where his teeth tore me but no big deal. It could be a lot worse." "How is everyone?" Bella asked quietly so only Edward could hear. "Fine," he answered in the same tone, "Anna had been with James. A friend of my fathers. Emmett had been looking for her for Carlisle since she went missing and only just found her before you called. The two are inseparable right now. Carlisle is getting anxious when he can't see her. That'll take a while to wear off." Bella didn't say anything. She took the blood Edward gave her and sat at the small bar. Edward took Alice from her. Bella sipped the blood and sighed. "How has she been?" "A handful as usual," Edward said, smiling at his baby and bouncing her lightly. "Aren't you baby?" Alice looked up at him as if to say 'who me?' and reached up to capture his nose. Edward kissed her hand and snapped playfully at her fingers. Alice pulled her hand away and giggled. "She's getting so big, it's hard to believe she's only a week old. She'll be talking soon." "She's already babbling." "Ba!" Alice squealed waving her hand at Bella. She took Alice and sat her in her lap. Bella kissed the top of her head and smoothed her hair. It was growing into pale brown curls at the middle of her neck. Bella grabbed keys from a glass bowl nearby and held them in her palm just in front of the infant. Alice looked at them and tilted her head. She reached over and grabbed one of the keys. She made a little noise as she lifted them and the key slipped out of her fingers back into Bella's hand. Bella smiled. She loved the way Alice's little brow furrowed in irritation and her little red lips puckered, just the way Edward's did when she was in concentration. Her little cheeks were perfectly plump and pale pink. She got ahold of the keys again and picked them up. She turned them around in her hands and sucked on one. Bella pulled the key from her mouth and she scowled at her. "She's just like her daddy." Edward took her gently. He lifted her into the air and she cooed. She kicked her feet and Edward kissed the

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bottom of one that landed on his cheek. Alice giggled and he lowered her. He raised her up again and she giggled again. He brought her down into a cradle and Bella watched them with a smile. "No girl is ever going to be so adored by her daddy." In the other room the movie was coming to a close. Anna cheered and Esme smiled at her. She crawled across Carlisle's legs and into Esme's lap. "You know what daddy," Anna said taking some of Esme's long hair and braiding it. "You need to ask Esme to marry you." "Oh I do huh?" Carlisle asked, turning flat on his back to look at them. Anna nodded and laid her head on Esme's shoulder. "Alice gets a mommy and a daddy, I want one too." "You do have a mommy," Carlisle said holding his arms up. Anna crawled back and curled up against his side. "But I want a mommy that loves me," Anna pressed, "my mom doesn't love me like Esme does." "Well," Carlisle said glancing up at Esme, "does Esme want to be a mommy?" Anna looked quickly over and Esme smiled. She crawled over Carlisle's legs and came up to his lips. "Only if you get to be the daddy," she whispered before kissing him. Carlisle put one arm around her waist and hugged her tight. Anna wrinkled her nose. She may like the idea of Esme being her mom but she didn't like the kissing. "Daddy that's so gross!" She squealed pushing Carlisle's chest. Carlisle laughed and hugged Anna with his free arm. "Kisses are gross?" Carlisle asked. "Yes," Anna said with a definite nod. "Are you sure? Because I love giving pretty girls lots of kisses!" Carlisle turned and showered Anna's face with kisses. She squealed and laughed and pushed against him. "Daddy! Stop!" she laughed trying to escape. "Lots of kisses for Anna!" Esme moved and gave them room to play. Anna squirmed out of his arms and ran off. Carlisle chased her playfully as she ran out into the sunny afternoon. She jumped over tree roots and stones in her attempt to escape. Carlisle caught her eventually and she laughed. He held her in his arms and kissed the top of her head. "I love you so much Anna." "I love you too daddy," she said hugging him. She buried her face in his neck and hugged him tight. There was nothing quite like his smell to make her feel safe and comfortable. She had always been a daddy's girl so being taken away to live with her mother after the divorce was horrible. Sandra wasn't much better. She didn't like the girls that loved her daddy for his looks or his money.

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"What's wrong princess?" Carlisle asked smoothing her hair. "I want you to be happy," Anna said snuggling into him, "and I want Esme to be with us forever. I don't like Sandra." "Me neither," Carlisle said, ducking under a low hanging branch. He stood by the water's edge and looked out. "Sometimes I think you were the only thing I've done right. I just want to keep you safe and happy." "I am happy," Anna assured him, "but only if you stay with Esme." "Well I guess I have no choice then," Carlisle said, smiling down at her. The moment shattered. "CARLISLE!" --Edward listened to the gentle clicking of heels on a cold tile floor when a nurse walked by. He couldn't see anything. He couldn't feel anything. He was just numb. Carlisle was pacing. He alternated from running a hand through his hair and chewing on his thumbnail. Bella was sitting in a state of shock. When a young man finally came in Carlisle and Edward jumped up. "Well?" Edward demanded. "I don't know! I'm just an intern who has to water the plants!" Edward glowered at the boy and pointed to the door. He scuttled out without a second thought. "That was a little harsh," Carlisle scolded. "Oh bite me Carlisle I am in no mood for manners." "Will you two please stop it," Bella snapped, "both of you can leave if you want to fight." Edward softened and went to the small crib where Alice laid peacefully. He put his hand on the plastic and closed his eyes. "How did this happen?" he asked quietly. "I can't say," Carlisle murmured. Bella didn't move from her place by her daughter's side. The door opened and everyone looked over. The doctor walked in and looked between the worried parents. "Quite the unusual patient," he said as an opener. "Get to the point," Edward growled. "We found toxic venom in her system," the doctor said grimly. "Toxic venom?" Bella repeated. "Yes, warrior class."

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"Is it possible that it's her own? I mean Edward..." "No," Carlisle said, cutting her off, "venom takes training to produce on command. The kind that can kill a vampire of our status, toxic venom, takes years and years to learn how to create. I can't create it and neither can Edward. We have the ability but not the knowledge. The odds of Alice being able to create her own venom and poison herself with it are extremely low." "She didn't get any in her system after the fight with father," Edward said, "she would have gotten like this earlier." "What has she come into contact with in the past day?" The doctor asked. "Us mostly," Edward said, "blood and..." "We fed her just before she fainted," Bella said quietly, "we used one of the bottles we had packed back in the city." Edward looked at her. He tried to remember but his head was so disorganized right then. He remembered taking the blood from the diaper bag and putting it back in the refrigerator when they got home. Bella was saying she had a stomach ache and went to bed after throwing up. He had given Alice a blood but she hadn't gotten sick. He knew that it took a week for blood to go bad. But they had packed it just before they left the mansion. There was no way it was bad. The smell had been fresh, nothing smelled off about the blood. Something clicked in Edward's head. The diaper bag had been near the door with their bags. His father had questioned him about Bella and knew he had been lying. He seemed to believe that Bella was dead but he knew that the baby was Edward's. A angry roar filled the room. Edward didn't realize it was coming from him until Carlisle was trying to restrain him. "Calm down Edward!" "THE BASTARD POISONED HER BOTTLE!" Edward screamed. He pushed Carlisle out of his way and went to the cradle. His infant daughter laid still. Her little heart was beating away and she was breathing. He could hear her thoughts. She was in pain and immobile, paralyzed by the after shock of the venom in her little body. Bella could hear them too and Edward realized that while he had been so distracted, picking the brains of the doctors around him, she had been listening. She had heard every painful thought. The venom wasn't killing her because she was part human and it had been in the blood too long. Enzymes that protected humans from the deadly venom had eaten away at it. Had she been given that bottle only a day sooner she would have died. Edward was thankful for that but there was still the pain. Alice's mind screamed for him and he couldn't do anything. He could feel the heat of her fever through the plastic. That was it. Something in him snapped. He snatched the chart from the doctor and flipped through it. One look a the results from the chemical tests showed him his answer. The DNA was a perfect match with his father's. --"You don't understand the problems we really face," Lord Cullen said, "taxing is the only way out."

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"But what about the lower class?" another vampire asked. Aro watched, seeming eager for a nice debate. "That is indeed unfortunate but..." Lord Cullen cut off when the doors broke open. Aro stood and his guards circled him. Everyone in the room gasped and murmured amongst themselves when they saw Edward. "Edward Anthony Cullen what is the meaning of this?" Lord Cullen snarled. Edward cross the room in quick strides. The circle of politicians watched him curiously and the guards watched him warily. Everyone gasped in equal shock when his fist sank deep into his father's face and sent the older vampire flying back. "YOU SICK BASTARD!" "What is the meaning of this young man?" Aro demanded. Edward ignored him. He thrust the papers from the hospital into his father's lap. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't rip your fucking throat out." Lord Cullen looked at the papers. "What is this nonsense?" "Lab results from venom extracted from my child's body." Murmurs and excited whispers filled the room. Edward Cullen was a parent? With who and for how long? "I didn't know you had a child," Lord Cullen said, "surely I taught you safe sex." "Bella," Edward said, "she didn't get her injection when I bought her and she conceived a child." "How is that possible?" Aro asked. "Edward I have warned you about lies." "Oh no," Edward growled, "you knew. You knew about my child. When you blackmailed Carlisle to take me and beat me you slipped your venom into the bottle." "Nonsense," Lord Cullen laughed, "I would never blackmail my son and I would never poison your child no matter how much of a mistake I think she is." "If you didn't know I had a child how would you know it was a girl?" Edward said quickly. "I can see it in your mind." "Carlisle what is the meaning of this?" Aro demanded. "The boy is crazy." "Check for yourself," Edward challenged. "You can see his thoughts and memories with a single touch. See mine if you like! See my daughter laying in the hospital suffering because a stroke of luck saved her life!" Aro accepted. He came forward in a fluid movement and touched Edward's hand. He saw Bella's human face and the surprise when they realized she was pregnant. He saw Carlisle's explanation and the fight that caused them to leave. There were happy months and the horrifying birth of the half human baby ending in Edward

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desperately trying to save Bella. Aro gasped when he saw her vampire form and everything up until the kitchen where Edward held his daughter as he fed her. The baby went stiff in his arms and screamed in pain before becoming immobile. "How extraordinary," Aro whispered, "the child is healthy and well?" "Like any other," Edward said with a small smile, "she laughs and smiles and loves her parents very much." "I didn't think it was possible...if there was ever such a child his mother would have...to change a human like that...remarkable." Aro was in shock and the vampires around him could only guess what he saw. They whispered and swapped ideas. "Lord Cullen, come." Edward saw a panic flash in his father's eyes. He could see the confession in his mind and Aro would too. His world would crumble down. He would be arrested for the attempted murder of Edward's daughter. His title would be taken and everything would be left to the one child he had never bothered to formally denounce. Everything in his estate would pass to the son he hated the most. There was a snap and Edward was on his back, his father's hands around his neck. Edward barely saw the guards make to pull Lord Cullen off but Aro stopped them. Edward hissed and clawed at his father. This was the man that tried to kill his daughter. His blood would be spilt by his own hands. Edward didn't care if prison awaited. He would delight in killing his father for harming his precious Alice. "I'LL SEND YOU TO HELL WHERE YOU BELONG!" Lord Cullen bellowed. Vampires were sick. That strange thought passed Edward's mind as he fought for control. They loved a good fight and protecting status was everything to them. He kicked his father off and bit him. Some venom seeped in but not enough. His claws scraped skin off of his father's face. Not that he wasn't getting his own damage. He could feel the exposed fresh skin on his stomach as his father clawed across his abs. "I'm going to run away with her, whether you want me to or not. I intend to marry her in every way I can." He glared at his son. Another explosion shook the foundation. Edward was taken back by shock. It was enough to give Lord Cullen a chance to attack. He stole a sword from an unaware guard and swung it. Edward screamed as the blade sliced through his skin. He had jumped back just in time to avoid losing his arm but he definitely lost the use of it for the most part. The vision blurred and when it came back Edward was looking down at Jasper. He could see it and feel it. Teeth sinking into flesh that broke away under the force. Jasper's cries as his father emptied toxic venom, venom that Edward didn't know existed, into his body. "I will not have my family shamed. Not by you or anyone. But at least you'll be a war hero. More than you deserve." "I...love...her..." Black and red oozed from the cut on his neck. Jasper's eyes glazed over and he fell limp.

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Edward came back to reality. He looked into his father's blazing eyes. He was trying to hide what he had done. "You killed him," Edward gasped, "you killed my brother." Edward felt a strength he had never felt before. His father took his brother from him, and Alice's sister from Bella. Edward pushed his father back. "YOU KILLED YOUR OWN SON!" Edward bellowed. "BECAUSE HE LOVED HER! YOU SICK BASTARD!" There was a collective gasp and Edward became re-aware of the vampires watching him. "He loved her! He loved a human and you weren't going to let that happen! You killed Jasper!" "Lies," Lord Cullen snarled. "To think I once just wanted your approval. I just wanted you to forgive me for being born. I've seen who you truly are! You killed your own son for honor's sake! You tried to kill my daughter for petty revenge! Life means nothing to you does it!" "Yes, I killed Jasper! He was going to ruin everything for that silly human. He was going to ruin everything for sex!" "He loved her," Edward snarled, "like I love Bella and Carlisle loves Esme." "My sons are fools for human whores." Edward charged him. His mouth burned with something he never tasted before. "I will not let you kill her too," he growled as he toppled to the ground on top of his father. "I will protect my wife and my child." Edward broke the skin on his father's neck with his teeth. The foul tasting liquid poured into his father. Lord Cullen screamed in pain and Edward kept going. Thoughts of what the man might do if he stood again pushed more and more of the unfamiliar venom out of his mouth. He saw Jasper, still so handsome in death, laying on the broken ground. He saw Alice's body on the bed after she cut her own throat after too many days of unending agony over the death of her lover. Baby Alice who had only known a week or so of life, clinging to it in a hospital miles away. He heard Carlisle's voice in his head. "You're my brother Edward but she's my daughter. She's mine. I vowed on the day she was born to protect her to the ends of the earth and if it means killing or dying for her I'll do so." Edward pulled back and chocked. He spat out the venom and saw it was black. It burned his mouth and he could only imagine what it felt like when it went through Jasper's body. Lord Cullen's eyes glazed over and he was limp. He fell to the ground. The room was growing darker. The last thing he knew was someone was carrying him. But he didn't care. He gave into unconsciousness. --"Mom? Am I dead?"

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She was beautiful. So beautiful it was hard to look at her. Caroline stood before him in white with her long bronze ringlets spilling perfectly over her shoulders. She smiled at him and touched his cheek. "For all of your life I have loved you, Edward," she murmured, "you have suffered so much and now it's time for peace." Edward smiled. He saw Jasper near her. He wore his military uniform and his arm was around Alice. She was whole in his arms. Her eyes glittered with happiness as she rested her head on Jasper's chest. They were happy. The air was warm and soothing. But someone was missing. Edward knew where she was. So he turned away from the mother he had longed to know, and left. --"Bella?" "Until further notice we aren't speaking," she said stubbornly turning her back on him. Edward tilted his head to the side and pouted. "Da!" Alice said, poking her head up over her mother's shoulder. "No baby, we aren't talking to him until he admits what a stupid irrational fool he's been," Bella said. Alice furrowed her brow and stuck out her bottom lip. "Da!" she said again pointing at Edward. "I can't move my arms, but all I want to do is hold you both." "Then why do you keep doing such stupid things?" Bella cried. "Why do you keep hurting me like this?" It hurt. It hurt like hell but Edward forced his weak and shaking arms to push him up and wrap around his Bella. His strength gave and he pulled her back with him. "I know you'll forgive me someday, but we don't have to worry about him anymore." "I know," Bella said, "it's all over the news." "I suppose they're going to take me away then," Edward mumbled. "I can't say," Bella whispered. She turned her head and he kissed her forehead. As much as Lord Cullen deserved it, what Edward did was against several laws. There would have to be a punishment. She didn't know much about the vampire justice system but they seemed very an eye for an eye oriented. Alice was tired of the boring sad talk. She squeaked and waved at Edward (she couldn't crawl over as Bella had a tight hold on her). "Da!" she said pointing at him. "Is that supposed to be dada?" "I don't know," Bella said, smiling at her daughter, "she says it all the time now." "She's feeling better," Edward chuckled. "They had to bring her back twice. Her heart stopped and I thought I was going to die. About that time the hospital called and said that you had been brought in. I would have come sooner but I couldn't leave her."

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"Sooner? How long have I been out exactly?" "About a week," Bella said, "Carlisle said it's been known to happen. When you get too much sleep you sleep more. Plus you lost so much blood and fluids. Your left arm received heavy damage and some of it may be permanent. The doctors will go over that later." "Who is my doctor exactly?" Edward asked with difficulty. "Morning dumb ass," Carlisle said walking in with a chart. He walked over to the bed and hit Edward on the head with it. "Ow! Patient abuse!" "I didn't see anything," Bella sniffed sitting up. "Edward remember my rule about treating family," Carlisle said going through papers. "Everybody gets one. You have exceeded your limit." "Yeah, yeah what's the damage?" Carlisle sighed, "you severed several nerves and some muscle in your left arm. It'll heal for the most part in a few days yet but you won't have feeling in your fingers. Too much damage. You lost a lot of blood and venom. You'll need to take it easy for a while." "Sounds good," Edward said, "can I hold my baby now?" Bella spilled Anna into his lap and Edward brought her close. He kissed her forehead and snuggled her gently. She seemed in the mood for a nice nap and let them know by giving a big yawn and a tired mumble. Carlisle left silently with Bella, leaving the two to bond. Alice looked sleepily up at her daddy and smiled. Her mind told him how much she missed him and that she was scared when he was asleep for so long. "I know beautiful girl," he whispered stroking her cheek lovingly with the back of his finger. "Daddy was so afraid when you were sick." Alice winced, remembering the burning. Edward smiled and hugged her tight. "Remember angel, I am always going to be here to protect you." He laid back and Alice made herself comfortable at his side. She curled up against him and grabbed his shirt with one small fist. She had hit a plateau in her physical growth. She was toddler sized and that's how Edward liked it. But he knew she would never be too old to cuddle with her daddy. --Edward was shocked when Aro walked into his room. He had been sitting with Bella, enjoying a nice game of uno when he came. Bella bowed her head and Edward did as well. Alice looked up, acknowledged him, and went back to chewing on a ring of plastic keys. "Is this her?" Aro asked. "My daughter, Alice," Edward said.

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"May I?" Aro asked holding his hands out. Edward nodded and Bella passed her daughter to the king. Alice made a strange yipping noise to show her surprise. Aro smiled at her and he seemed friendly enough. "She's a sweet little thing," he chuckled, "well I'm happy you approve," he said to the baby. Bella smiled. Alice was such a goofy little thing but she was so precious. "And you are her mother, the human turned vampire." "Yes, sir," Bella said, taking Alice as Aro passed her back. "Quite a development Mr. Cullen," Aro said. "Might I meet with you alone?" Edward swallowed and looked over at Bella. She kissed his forehead and left with Alice. Edward looked at the king with narrowed wary eyes. "What brings you here?" "Well I wanted to see your daughter for myself," Aro said simply, "and there is the matter of your father's untimely passing." "He tried to kill my daughter and would have succeeded if not for sheer luck." "The fact still remains that you killed him in front of a room of witnesses. My testimony can only go so far." "You're the king," Edward said through gritted teeth. Aro grinned at him. "Yes, I am. I can make anything disappear." "For a price." "You can't get something for nothing Edward. Masking the truth is going to take some effort on my part." Edward tried to search Aro's mind but he kept it blank and calm. "What do you want?" "You have left quite a hole in my congress. Figuratively and literally. My testimony comes at the price of repair expenses plus a fine and your servitude." Edward sighed. He looked at Aro and nodded. "Agreed," he said. "Excellent," Aro said with a smile, "it was a pleasure meeting your beautiful family and I hope to see you in perfect health again soon." Edward nodded and Aro walked out. Bella came in and Edward held his arm out. "Where is the little one?" "We just had to discuss payments," Edward said leaning his head on her shoulder. "We'll talk later." Bella nodded and cuddled up with him while Alice made herself comfortable on Edward's stomach. It could wait. All she wanted to do was rest with the man she loved and their precious baby between them. TBC DC: I don't own it

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Thank you to my reviewers you guys have been so amazing! Epilogue, The wind blew and ruffled Edward's hair. He stood alone in the back yard at the memorial in the center of the garden. The fountain had been Bella's idea. Her sister loved the sound of the fountains at the Cullen mansion. Since Edward was in no position to deny her anything, he had one built. He looked at the stone face of his brother and felt the same sadness. Since learning that his brother had been murdered Edward felt a new hatred towards his father. That's why they felt it fitting for a stone carving of the only woman he ever loved to be safe in his arms forever. Edward wished he could do more but he was out of ideas. He had done his best to do things as his brother would have wished but the realization came down that he was only trying to fill the void that the new knowledge had brought him. But peace filled his heart again when he heard the chime of laughter around him. He turned and smiled. The mansion he called home seemed to glitter in the sunlight. Through the broad windows he could see Bella on the third floor through the lacy curtains folding clothes and putting them neatly away. He could see Carlisle on the first floor stealing a kiss from Esme as she fixed Anna's hair. Behind him he could hear mischievous giggles and pretended to ignore them. "Got him!" Edward laughed as two bodies crashed into him, one on his shoulders and the other around his leg. He bent down and picked up the little boy and held him while the other held onto the top of his head. "Dad how long are you going to stay?" the blonde in his arms asked. "How long do you want me to stay?" Edward asked. "Until the moon turns purple!" The boy on his head chirped. Edward laughed and looked up. "Well that will be a very long time." The boy in his arms beamed up at him and he kissed his forehead. The twins laughed and Edward joined them. They were delightful boys, even if they did get into more than their fair share of trouble. Then again, Edward reasoned, his second born had been way too calm and quiet. The boys merely used up her share. All the same, life was definitely more interesting when Carlisle the eighteenth (who would rather be called Charlie) and Jasper learned how to walk and talk. Blonde and slight, both boys reminded Edward of his adopted brother. Being named after his uncle seemed to bring something into Jasper when he was born. Their birth had been difficult on their mother but she survived (even though Edward was so afraid she wouldn't). However Edward and his bride decided that they were definitely the last of their children. The past eight years had been all the more delightful, even if it did mean awkward conferences with teachers and scrubbing hand prints off of walls. Jasper jumped off of Edward's shoulders and landed less than gracefully on the cement. Charlie laughed at him and his brother replied with a scowl. "I'm sure your mother said something about getting homework done," Edward reminded them. "Aw dad!" they both whined.

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"I'll be up to check your work in a few hours," he said as he put them down. "Get going now," he added patting them both on the backs. They boys ran off, pushing each other to gain a lead in what had now become a race to their room. Edward laughed and gasped when he felt two small hands on his eyes. "Guess who." "My fair maiden?" he murmured, taking the hands and twirling them so Bella was in front of him. She smiled at him and threaded her fingers through his. "I saw you watching me," she sighed tilting her head and smiling slightly. "I was indeed watching you," Edward replied, pulling his hands free and curling them around her waist. "I quite enjoyed what I saw." "Where are the kids?" Bella asked, slipping her arms around his neck. "Well, the boys are heading up to do homework, Alice is resting and Andi is in her room reading as usual." "So tell me," Bella whispered reaching up to kiss his cheek, "does my lord have time to play?" "Anything my lady requests," Edward whispered before he kissed her. --Carlisle didn't know when he had first decided that he was going to change Esme. Nor did he know what she was going to say when he brought it up. After all asking one to change their species isn't exactly an easy subject. He was actually pretty sure that if Bella had a choice she probably would have opted to stay human. But she was dying and Edward had no idea that his blood would actually change her permanently. It had been the most difficult discussion they had ever had but in the end Esme agreed. After becoming a vampire, Carlisle wasted no time in marrying her and putting his baby in her. That was the best part. Esme legally adopted Anna as her own child and Carrie became a distant fuzzy memory to all three of them. They had moved into the massive three story mansion with his brother when Bella went through her pregnancy with the twins and had difficulties. It wasn't that big of a move. They all practically lived together anyway. Their life was perfect. Anna had grown into a beautiful young woman. She was so beautiful it broke Carlisle's heart. She and Alice were chattering away in the corner of the living room (too quiet for him to hear which bothered him). Growing up together brought Anna and Alice so close they were like sisters. There wasn't anything they didn't tell each other. The girls were sitting on the love seat with their legs tucked under them and their hands moving at the speed of light as they talked. He watched Anna toss some of her golden hair over her shoulder. She wore a powder blue sweater with her college logo on it that reminded Carlisle that his eldest daughter was grown and going. Alice had grown into a beautiful young woman as well. She looked so much like her mother. Her light brown hair was pulled back from her face and her dark eyes sparkled. Carlisle smiled as his lap was occupied by a chestnut haired boy. His son, Cody, snuggled up and looked up at him. "Hi dad," he said. "Hey sport," Carlisle said ruffling his hair. Esme walked in with Bella. The two vampire women observed the room quickly and instantly assessed who was missing and the appropriate punishments for being tardy.

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"Charlie where is your brother?" Bella asked. "Here mom," Jasper said walking in. "Andi keeps trying to scare me!" "Do not. Dweeb." "Andrea be nice to your brother," Bella scolded. "He keeps going in my room!" Andi defended angrily folding her arms. "Jasper..." "Mom I only go into her room because I'm afraid for her safety," Jasper said, straitening up and trying to look like Edward does when he works. Charlie was at his side in an instant to back him up. Bella had to admit she loved the loyalty. "And why is that?" "Because there are demons in her room and as her brother it is my duty to keep my sister safe from harm." "He's right," Charlie added, "they are attracted to her satanic music and they try to darken her soul!" "Oh boys," Bella sighed, "stay out of your sisters room and Andrea..." "Andi, mom." "I let you get away with ignoring your first name you don't get both." "Dad!" "Listen to your mother," Edward said, reading the paper. "Thank you dear," Bella grumbled. She ushered the boys to the sofa and Andi sat on the floor leaning against the wall. She folded her arms and grumbled. Edward stood up and took the center of the room. He looked grimly at the bright faces of his family. "I have updates on the war with Caius." Bella instinctively put her arm around her boys and pulled them closer. A year ago Caius started war again. The war seemed to be dragging on and on. Edward didn't have to serve as he didn't have an heir. The war was predicted to be over soon but there was little progress. The family listened intently as he updated them on what had been taken and what they had lost. "I got a letter from Sam yesterday," Alice said happily, "he said they should be pulling out soon and taking the palace." Edward looked at his daughter. She pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her chin on them. He saw her soldier in her mind. They were sitting on the porch swing together the day before he left. He finished and everyone left to their activities. Anna and Alice were talking about going for a walk. They got up to leave but Edward stopped his eldest.

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"Alice can I have a moment with you?" he asked. "Sure," Alice said with a shrug. Edward put his arm around her and led her down the hall. Bella was walking with her and she began to feel nervous. Both of her parents were involved this time. She turned into Edward's study. Edward walked over and sat on the edge of his desk. "Alice, this came for you today." Alice looked at him questioningly as she took the envelope and a package. Bella watched as she opened it. She pulled the letter out and unfolded it. "Dear Miss Cullen, it is with a heavy heart we report the death of Samuel Young. Private Young died bravely in battle and as his primary contact you have received his possessions." Alice shakily tore the paper back and ripped open the box. Inside was a small wallet insert filled with pictures and the golden locket she had given to him just before he left with his picture in it. Alice dropped the box and the letter and shook her head. "No, no this isn't...he can't...daddy..." "Alice..." Alice shook her head and turned to run but Bella was there. She trapped her daughter in her arms and Alice clung to her. "Mom...mom it can't be real...tell me there was some kind of mistake!" "I'm so sorry baby," Bella murmured hugging her tighter. Edward came up and put a gentle hand on her shoulder. "I just need to be alone for a little while," Alice said rubbing her eyes. She left and Bella heard her footsteps go up the stairs. Bella turned to look back at her husband. Edward had sunk into his chair and was rubbing his forehead with one hand. "This was so different when it was your sister. I cared about her but watching her cry didn't break me down like this does." Edward's phone rang and he sighed. He picked it up and answered it as he was obligated to do. Bella turned and walked out, leaving him to his business. She found Esme in the kitchen making dinner. She looked up as Bella came in. "What's up?" "Sam died," Bella said quietly. Esme put her hand to her mouth in shock. "You're kidding!" "Alice is up in her room right now. Edward's dealing with business. Sam had no family so I'm sure that's what he's dealing with." "Alice and Anna will probably talk it out,"

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Just then Edward came in looking caught between angry and sad. He hugged Bella from behind and kissed the back of her head. "What is it?" she asked. "Business, I have to go," Edward said. "Your daughter just found out that her boyfriend is dead," Bella said coolly turning to face him, "aren't you going to go up and comfort her instead?" "She wanted to be left alone," Edward reminded her, "besides what could I possibly say to make her feel better?" "What indeed," Bella asked smoothly before walking out. Edward gave Esme a pleading look and she held up her hands. With a sigh Edward followed his wife into the living room where she began unnecessary cleaning. "Okay are you going to tell me what I've done wrong or are we going to play the guessing game?" Bella straitened the throw pillows and picked up some of the toys that had been left on the floor. Edward sighed and took them from her. He grabbed her shoulders and forced her to look at him. "Bella. Answer me." "You'll be late." Edward glared at her. When she wanted to be, Bella Cullen was the most stubborn woman in the world. Edward quickly debated if he had the energy to argue with her or if he should just leave. "I'll call you later," he sighed. "Of course you will," Bella grumbled, pulling away from him and turning to leave. "Okay now what was that supposed to mean?" "Nothing at all Lord Cullen now go, your king awaits." Edward winced at the frosty edge to his wife's tone. But he wasn't in the mood to deal with her. He didn't fully understand what she was upset about and was ready to blame her mood on the recent news of Sam's death. After all the boy had been like a son to her, having been friends with Alice since childhood and a constant at their home. He was in so many of the pictures around the house it was hard to believe he wasn't actually theirs. But he knew it wasn't that. He knew it was something he did that was making her so angry. He also knew that if he stood waiting long enough she would burst. Sure enough after she finished straitening the pictures on the mantle and organizing everything she was about to burst. Three, two, one, Edward mentally counted. "I am tired of sharing you with him, okay." Edward couldn't help but smirk at just how predictable she was sometimes.

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"You think this is funny?!" "No, I think you're adorable when you get riled up. Bella, love, what am I supposed to do? I promised to serve Aro until he is done with me." "I packed up the family and moved out here for you," Bella reminded him, "we left the suburbs because of your job so that we could see you more. So that the twins could know their father. But you spend so much time with the king and congress that it's more or less the same." "Would you rather I be executed? The bottom line is that I had no choice but to accept the position my father left. It's only a stroke of luck that Aro didn't ship me off to war! Bella you seem to forget that I murdered my father! According to the law I should be dead or rotting in prison and we wouldn't have the boys at all! I mean what can I say to make it better? The situation sucks but what's done is done! You can't hate me for it!" "I don't hate you," Bella said quietly, "I'm just tired of being the little housewife that you have to make time to see." "Bella please be fair." "And you'd rather be the little widow raising four kids? If so Bella then let me know and I'll just march right up to Aro and tell him to stuff it up his ass!" "You're such an asshole Edward," Bella snapped, trying not to cry. She threw the pillow she had been holding at him and left the room. Edward threw the pillow onto the sofa and left the opposite way, grumbling. --"You're distracted," Aro said airily as the congress took a break. "Bella and I had a fight," Edward sighed folding his arms. "May I ask what about?" "Work. She thinks I spend too much time away from the family." "The life of a politician is never easy," Aro sighed. Edward wanted to say something sarcastic back but thought better of it. "Tell her that quite simply it's your job." "She knows that. It's just we had different plans when Alice was born and things changed." "What are you saying exactly?" Aro asked, sensing a different meaning. Edward shifted and thought. What was he saying? He would be lying if he said he didn't enjoy his work. He usually did. The debates were always exciting and it gave him a sense of satisfaction knowing that he was making a difference. If not for his presence in congress the laws protecting fatal abuse to humans wouldn't have been put forth and half humans such as his eldest child would be nonexistent. But he had missed the birth of his sons. He had actually missed the first two days of their lives because of his work. He had missed Alice's graduation from high school and almost all of Andi's violin concerts (before she dropped the instrument completely). When Bella moved the family into the city they had high hopes for change. But all it meant was he came home more often. When it came down to it the move only gave them a

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few more moments together. He still loved her with his whole heart, but he didn't know if she did. --"Mom? What's wrong?" Alice asked. Bella was laying on her bed, curled up and miserable. She looked up at her eldest and held her arms up. Alice came over and snuggled up with her. "Your father and I had a fight," Bella said, "I miss him." "You guys fight a lot lately," Alice mumbled. She nuzzled against her mom's chest, finding the usual comfort. Bella felt the tears and smoothed her daughter's hair. "Parents fight," she said, "but we still love each other." Or at least she hoped they did. She was still so crazy about her vampire but she didn't know if he felt the same. She shook the thought from her head and kissed Alice lightly on the forehead. "Do you want to talk?" Alice shook her head no. Bella continued to stroke her hair gently and offer a shoulder to cry on. Alice sobbed off and on and mumbled nonsense occasionally. "Mommy I don't know what to do," she sobbed finally. "Just cry it out baby," Bella murmured gently, "just promise me that you won't do anything rash." "I never really understood why Aunt Alice killed herself," Alice admitted sitting up. She rubbed her eyes and sniffed. "Even if Uncle Jasper died." "Well it was a different time back then," Bella said sitting up as well. "Back when you were human?" "Yes. I was your father's slave. Literally." "I never knew that," Alice said, sounding interested. Bella nodded. She leaned against the headboard of her bed and Alice cuddled up with her. Bella put her arm around her eldest and Alice played with her fingers. "Alice and I were probably about sixteen or seventeen. When your father bought me he was an arrogant spoiled brat. He used to go out of his way to make me mad so that I would get flustered and yell at him. He used to tease me mercilessly. But then his father got involved and things started changing. Edward softened and we became friends. He had feelings for me and I returned them but I was so stubborn. I didn't want to admit that I was falling for a vampire." Bella laughed at the memory of telling Edward she would never love him. "My sister had been falling in love with Jasper, her master. They were so in love. When his father found out he lashed out and ended up blinding Alice. But she and Jasper were still in love and he went off to war."

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"Where he died." "Yes," Bella said sadly, "we learned later that your grandfather had killed him because he wanted to run away with my sister. By that time I was pregnant with you. Alice made sure that I was well cared for and killed herself in Jasper's room. We had lost everyone but each other by that point, we had seen our father killed by human hunters, our mother had died only recently. She lost her sight and then the man she loved. I think she knew that sometime soon Edward and I would have to leave because if his father learned about you..." "Did grandfather ever learn about me?" Alice asked. Bella nodded. "He did," Bella said resting her chin on Alice's head, "and he promptly tried to kill you and it was the scariest moment of my life." "I remember that," Alice said quietly, "it's kind of fuzzy but I remember being in a lot of pain and daddy was angry." "Gotta love vampire memories," Bella laughed. "Do you remember when you were born?" "I remember remembering. But I know that's when you died and became a vampire." "We weren't ready to be parents," Bella sighed, "sometimes I still think we're not." Alice laughed and shrugged, "well so far so good. I mean I'm practically perfect and the boys are adorable. Andi is kinda iffy." Bella laughed at that. "I don't know what I did to make that girl so mad at me but I'm sure I'll figure it out someday." "Ah she's just a teenager who is mad at the world." "Neither of you get me and my siblings are freaks," Andi said as she appeared in the doorway. "I don't get you because you never talk!" Bella cried defensively. "By the way who was in my room?" "I was sweeping the cobwebs out earlier," Bella admitted, "you live in such a hole!" "Well if you'd let me live in the dorms you wouldn't have to worry about it!" "No, Andrea, you lost your dorm privileges when you were caught doing some sort of ritual and you set fire to your curtains." There was a pause. "My name is Andi, mom." "Your name is Renee Andrea Cullen. Not Andi." "You're ruining my life!" Andi groaned before stomping off. "God help me Alice your sister is scary!"

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Alice laughed and hugged her mom tight. "Don't worry mommy I'll protect you." --"And they all lived happily ever after," Bella concluded. She kissed each of the blonde heads and hugged her boys tight against her side. "I love you two." "Love you too mom," they chorused. Bella got up and Jasper crawled out of his brother's bed and into his own. Bella pulled Charlie's blankets up to his chin and kissed his forehead. "Goodnight baby," she whispered smoothing his hair. "Night mom," Charlie said around a yawn. Bella smoothed his hair and went to Jasper. He reached up and hugged her before letting her pull the blankets up. "Goodnight honey," Bella murmured as she smoothed his hair and kissed his forehead. "Is dad home yet?" Jasper asked groggily. "Not yet baby." "Okay," he sighed. Bella kissed him on the forehead again and walked out, flipping the lights off as she went. She walked down the hall. She peeked into Andi's room and saw her teenager sleeping. She silently walked over and put a book mark between the pages of the book she was reading and put it on the small table by the bed. She covered her and left a kiss on her forehead. She left quietly and continued down the hall. She heard Carlisle and Esme talking in their room and she heard Cody's soft snores. In the last room she poked her head in to find Alice asleep tucked under her covers. She was clutching an old stuffed bear that Sam had won for her at a carnival and there were tissues everywhere. Bella jumped when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She whirled around and saw Edward. "She asleep?" he asked. Bella nodded. She closed the door silently and looked at her husband. She nodded her head, indicating for them to move before beginning the inevitable argument. "I didn't expect you," she said when they reached the security of the first floor. "I'm sorry Bella. For anything I've done to upset you." Bella sighed and sat on the sofa. "Remember when Alice was a baby and you spent every available moment you could with her?" "I remember," Edward said, sitting beside her. "I also remember how hard it was to be away from her when I first took my father's place and how hard it still is even now. Bella do you think I want to miss my children grow up? I mean the twins hardly know me! But Bella I have no choice. I have to serve the king." "Edward I don't know how long I can keep doing this," Bella said finally. "I can't keep telling our boys that you'll be home late. I can't keep hoping that I'm the only woman you love."

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Edward was in shock. He looked at her with his mouth hanging open quite unable to find something to say. He reached over and touched Bella's cheek, making her look at him. "So that's what this is about?" he asked quietly with a small smile, "you think that there is someone else?" "For as little as I see you sometimes there could be." "Bella you are completely absurd," he whispered before kissing her. He pushed onto her and she leaned back against the cushions. It had been too long since they had spent time together like this. He touched her neck as he kissed her and his hand slipped down further. Bella wrapped her arms around his neck and held him tight against her. "I miss you so much." "I miss you too," he whispered against her cheek as he hugged her tight. "Bella I love you more now than I ever have." "I think I'm pregnant again," Bella murmured. Edward smiled and kissed her forehead. "If you are that's wonderful, if not we have four beautiful children." "I don't want to have another baby that you'll miss," Bella said, slipping from under him. She sat up and Edward shifted. "I don't have the energy to have another baby alone. Carlisle and Esme have their own children to take care of, and I still have the twins to think about." Edward pulled her close and rubbed her arm gently to try and soothe her. "We'll figure something out," he promised, "I love you Bella. I love our children and I miss them very much." Bella rested her head on his shoulder. She was too tired to press the issue. She just wanted to enjoy his company for the night. --It was raining. Alice was sitting in the living room hugging her knees. It was family night. The one night that Edward was promised off each week. They sat around playing Uno. So far she was the only one (besides Andi) that was unenthusiastically playing. Her turn came and she put down a red seven. She managed a weak smile when Edward threw down a plus four that was intended for Bella but she had her own plus four to match, forcing Carlisle to draw eight. He grumbled as he did so while the kids and Edward laughed. Thunder clapped and the little kids screamed. The game came to an end at that moment as the littles were huddled up with their parents. Edward started to tell a story as he lap was occupied by his sons. Anna put her arm around Alice and gave her a squeeze. "Are you okay pumpkin?" Edward asked. Alice shook her head no but mentally told Edward to continue with his story because it was making her feel a little better. She tried to concentrate on the tale of the brave knight and the beautiful princess but she was distracted. She kept thinking of Sam and how he may have died. She buried her face in her knees and tried not to cry. "Then, as the knight drew closer to the princess, the doors burst open and the evil wizard came into the room with a booming laugh!" Just then the door did open and the boys screamed. The thunder clapped and they heard footsteps. Edward

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tensed and everyone looked up. The lights flickered with another clap of thunder and lightning and they saw someone. His hair was long and deep black. His face was young but scarred and he wore a torn uniform. "Sam!" Alice cried. She jumped up and ran to her soldier. She jumped into his arms and he was happy to receive her. He held her tight and spun her around. Alice wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him. One hand threaded into his long dark hair and kept him in place. When they broke the kiss so she could breathe he cupped her cheeks and brushed her tears away with his thumbs. "I thought you were dead!" "Nah," he laughed softly, "I promised you I'd come home and when have I ever broken my promises?" "Never," Alice admitted in a breathy voice. She looked up at him and he smiled. "I thought you had though. You're not allowed to scare me like that." "I'm sorry," he said brushing more of her tears away. He hugged her and rocked gently. Alice sobbed against his wet chest and smiled. Bella looked like she was about to cry she was so happy. Edward had to keep the twins from running up and hugging Sam and ruining their sister's happy reunion. "I think your dad wants to kill me now." Alice laughed and nodded. "Well you know the rules," Edward said with a smile, "nobody hurts my baby girl and gets away with it." "I'm sorry sir," he said with a smile. Edward stood and gave the younger vampire a hug. "I'm so happy you're safe," Edward said quietly. Can I ask her? "Please do," Edward answered. Sam turned to Alice and took her hands. "Alice I love you and I told myself that if I made it back to you I'd ask you this." "Okay," Alice whispered. Sam knelt down and looked up at her. "Alice Caroline Cullen, will you marry me?" "I can't believe you had to ask!" Alice sobbed practically falling into his arms. She hugged him tight around the neck and he kissed her temple. "Yes, a thousand times over." Edward smiled and felt two arms around his middle and smiled. He put his arm around Bella and hugged her close. The boys were jumping around demanding all the war stories from their soon to be brother-in-law. Carlisle looked over at Edward and smiled with Esme in his arms. Anna was hugging her cousin and accepting the request to be her maid of honor. "I can't believe I'm going to have to watch her get married," Edward murmured so only Bella could hear, "I

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kinda hoped she never would." "Oh Edward," Bella sighed. Edward smiled and kissed her forehead. He would have to watch his daughter get married. He had to admit to himself, as he watched Sam and Alice play with the twins and Cody, at least his baby girl picked a good one. The happiness in the air was infectious. He looked over at Bella and met her eyes. She was as happy as she could be. She hugged him tight and he knew that everything was going to be okay. They would have their problems along the way but in the end they loved each other. The daughter he had killed for was alive and well and in the arms of the man she loved. The children he adored were gathered around congratulating the couple. Best of all his beautiful wife was by his side. There she would stay. He turned and whispered softly in her ear, "I love you kitten." TBC I am so sad that this story is over but really satisfied with it. I really wanted to give Alice the happy ending her aunt didn't get. I also really prefer Bella and Edward to have a few problems in their marriage because they felt a little too perfect in the books. I like it when they have problems but are still very in love with each other. So anyway thanks for reading! I have a few new ideas for some stories but I'm going to try to take a break and focus on school and whatnot. Though I have been urged to keep writing as a therapeutic escape. To which I replied...okie! I kinda like writing if nobody has noticed :p We'll see what happens. But as always thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed. Thanks especially to those that have been with me since the first chapter and with other stories as well. I know my stories can get a little weird sometimes. I have an idea that is really out there and I don't know if I should attempt it.

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