Latin Moon, Book 3: A New Moon. Read more New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2) · Read more · Stephenie Meyer - Twikight 02 - New Moon. Read more. The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity Meyer, Stephenie, —New Moon a novel / b) Stepheme Meyer—1st ed p cm. new books osakeya.info Killers of the Flower Moon new moon after new moon and sabbath after - Ron H Feldman.

Author:ALBINA ALEXION
Language:English, Spanish, Arabic
Country:Burundi
Genre:Academic & Education
Pages:568
Published (Last):08.05.2016
ISBN:676-6-61262-615-3
Distribution:Free* [*Registration Required]
Uploaded by: HENRY

71775 downloads 119747 Views 10.59MB PDF Size Report


New Moon Books Pdf

Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jul 31, , Sepideh S. Aram and others published Twilight: New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2). sunlight—the kind of blinding clear sun that never shone on my drizzly new hometown in. Forks, Washington—and second, I was looking at my Grandma Marie. NOT FOR SALE This PDF File was created for educational, scholarly, and Internet archival use Perhaps there was no moon tonight-a lunar eclipse, a new moon. She wrote about her day, a new book club that rilled the time slot of the.

Sticking with his decision, Edward is off the canvas for nearly the next two-thirds of the book, as is the entire Cullen family. During this time, the chronicle is very reminiscent of Twilight in that it proceeds at a languid but steady pace while extensive character and relationship development occurs. However, danger lies in wait everywhere, bringing a certain layer of suspense to the narrative, which then intensifies into a taut thriller when an unfortunate misunderstanding places Alice and Bella in a race against time to save Edward from certain destruction. With so much going on, New Moon has been yet another installed in the Twilight series that was extremely hard to lay down. Jacob also essentially becomes a second hero and the third point in a love triangle. While Bella never really feels more to Jacob than friendship or brotherly love, Jacob does fall for Bella.

Despair momentarily vanished; wonder took its place. Even after half a year with him, I stillcouldnt believe that I deserved this degree of good fortune. His sister Alice was standing by his side, waiting for me, too.

Of course Edward and Alice werent really related in Forks the story was that all the Cullensiblings were adopted by Dr. Carlisle Culler and his wife, Esme, both plainly too young tohave teenage children , but their skin was precisely the same pale shade, their eyes had thesame strange golden tint, with the same deep, bruise-like shadows beneath them.

Her face,like his, was also startlingly beautiful. To someone in the know—someone like me—thesesimilarities marked them for what they were.

The sight of Alice waiting there—her tawny eyes brilliant with excitement, and a smallsilver-wrapped square in her hands—made me frown. Id told Alice I didnt want anything,anything, not gifts or even attention, for my birthday. Obviously, my wishes were beingignored. I slammed the door of my 53 Chevy truck—a shower of rust specks fluttered down to the wetblacktop—and walked slowly toward where they waited.

Alice skipped forward to meet me,her pixie face glowing under her spiky black hair. The last thing Iwanted was some kind of celebration of the black event. She ignored me. She finally seemed to process my mood. Did you like the scrapbook yourmom sent you? And the camera from Charlie? Of course she would know what my birthday presents were. Edward wasnt theonly member of his family with unusual skills.

Alice would have "seen" what my parentswere planning as soon as theyd decided that themselves. Theyre great. Youre only a senior once. Might as well document the experience.

I took it eagerly, forgetting, fora moment, my glum mood. His skin was, as always, smooth, hard, and very cold.

He gave myfingers a gentle squeeze. I looked into his liquid topa2 eyes, and my heart gave anot-quite-so-gentle squeeze of its own. Hearing the stutter in my heartbeats, he smiled again. He lifted his free hand and traced one cool fingertip around the outside of my lips as hespoke.

That is correct. It was something that could only be picked up in an earlier century. Most people seem to enjoy things like birthdays and gifts. Everyone is supposed to be nice to you today and give you your way, Bella.

Whats the worstthat could happen? Beside me, Edwards smile tightened into a hard line. He sighed. ButEdward was dead set against any future that changed me. Any future that made me likehim—that made me immortal, too. An impasse, he called it. I couldnt really see Edwards point, to be honest.

What was so great about mortality? Beinga vampire didnt look like such a terrible thing—not the way the Cullens did it, anyway. From herexpression, she was up to exactly the kind of thing Id been hoping to avoid. Newton about it. Shestrading your shifts. She said to tell you Happy Birthday. Berty said we needed to see it performed to fully appreciate it—thats howShakespeare intended it to be presented. Edward rolled his eyes. Berty said it was the best. If Bella wants to watch a movie, then she can.

Its her birthday. See you tonight, Bella! Itll be fun, youll see. Were going to be late for class. Edward and I had been together too long now to be an objectof gossip anymore. Even Mike Newton didnt bother to give me the glum stare that used tomake me feel a little guilty.

He smiled now instead, and I was glad he seemed to haveaccepted that we could only be friends. Mike had changed over the summer—his face had lostsome of the roundness, making his cheekbones more prominent, and he was wearing his paleblond hair a new way; instead of bristly, it was longer and gelled into a carefully casualdisarray. It was easy to see where his inspiration came from—but Edwards look wasntsomething that could be achieved through imitation.

As the day progressed, I considered ways to get out of whatever was going down at theCullen house tonight.

Download New Moon (The Twilight Saga) PDF books

It would be bad enough to have to celebrate when I was in the moodto mourn. But, worse than that, this was sure to involve attention and gifts. Attention is never a good thing, as any other accident-prone klutz would agree. No onewants a spotlight when theyre likely to fall on their face. And Id very pointedly asked—well, ordered really—that no one give me any presents this year. It looked like Charlie and Renee werent the only ones who had decided to overlook that.

Id never had much money, and that had never bothered me. Renee had raised me on akindergarten teachers salary. Charlie wasnt getting rich at his job, either—he was the police My only personal income came from the three days aweek I worked at the local sporting goods store. In a town this small, I was lucky to have ajob.

Every penny I made went into my microscopic college fund. College was Plan B. I wasstill hoping for Plan A, but Edward was just so stubborn about leaving me human… Edward had a lot of money—I didnt even want to think about how much. Money meant nextto nothing to Edward or the rest of the Cullens. It was just something that accumulatedwhen you had unlimited time on your hands and a sister who had an uncanny ability topredict trends in the stock market.

Edward didnt seem to understand why I objected to himspending money on me—why it made me uncomfortable if he took me to an expensiverestaurant in Seattle, why he wasnt allowed to download me a car that could reach speeds overfifty-five miles an hour, or why I wouldnt let him pay my college tuition he was ridiculouslyenthusiastic about Plan B. Edward thought I was being unnecessarily difficult.

But how could I let him give me things when I had nothing to reciprocate with? He, forsome unfathomable reason, wanted to be with me. Anything he gave me on top of that justthrew us more out of balance. As the day went on, neither Edward nor Alice brought my birthday up again, and I began torelax a little. We sat at our usual table for lunch. A strange kind of truce existed at that table.

The three of us—Edward, Alice, and I—sat on theextreme southern end of the table. Now that the "older" and somewhat scarier in Emmettscase, certainly Cullen siblings had graduated, Alice and Edward did not seem quite sointimidating, and we did not sit here alone.

My other friends, Mike and Jessica who were inthe awkward post-breakup friendship phase , Angela and Ben whose relationship hadsurvived the summer , Eric, Conner, Tyler, and Lauren though that last one didnt reallycount in the friend category all sat at the same table, on the other side of an invisible line.

That line dissolved on sunny days when Edward and Alice always skipped school, and thenthe conversation would swell out effortlessly to include me. Edward and Alice didnt find this minor ostracism odd or hurtful the way I would have. Theybarely noticed it. People always felt strangely ill at ease with the Cullens, almost afraid forsome reason they couldnt explain to themselves.

I was a rare exception to that rule. Sometimes it bothered Edward how very comfortable I was with being close to him. Hethought he was hazardous to my health—an opinion I rejected vehemently whenever hevoiced it. The afternoon passed quickly.

School ended, and Edward walked me to my truck as heusually did. But this time, he held the passenger door open for me. Alice must have beentaking his car home so that he could keep me from making a run for it. I folded my arms and made no move to get out of the rain. I climbed in the opened door, wishing hed taken theother offer.

Edward played with the radio while I drove, shaking his head in disapproval. I didnt like it when he picked on my truck.

The truck was great—it hadpersonality. Drive your own car. I washardly ever bad-tempered with Edward, and my tone made him press his lips together to keepfrom smiling. When I parked in front of Charlies house, he reached over to take my face in his hands. Hehandled me very carefully, pressing just the tips of his fingers softly against my temples, mycheekbones, my jawline. Like I was especially breakable. Which was exactly thecase—compared with him, at least.

His sweet breath fannedacross my face. His golden eyes smoldered. As he intended, no doubt, I forgot all about my worries, and concentrated onremembering how to inhale and exhale. His mouth lingered on mine, cold and smooth and gentle, until I wrapped my arms around hisneck and threw myself into the kiss with a little too much enthusiasm. I could feel his lipscurve upward as he let go of my face and reached back to unlock my grip on him. Edward had drawn many careful lines for our physical relationship, with the intent being tokeep me alive.

Though I respected the need for maintaining a safe distance between my skinand his razor-sharp, venom-coated teeth, I tended to forget about trivial things like that whenhe was kissing me. He pressed his lips gently to mine one moretime and then pulled away, folding my arms across my stomach. My pulse was thudding in my ears. I put one hand over my heart.

It drummed hyperactivelyunder my palm. I rolled my eyes. When I perched on the edge of the sofa in front of him, he wrapped his arms around mywaist and pulled me against his chest. It wasnt exactly as comfortable as a sofa cushionwould be, what with his chest being hard and cold—and perfect—as an ice sculpture, but itwas definitely preferable. He pulled the old afghan off the back of the couch and draped itover me so I wouldnt freeze beside his body.

Romeo was one of my favoritefictional characters. Until Id met Edward, Id sort of had a thing for him. And then, a few minutes after their wedding, he kills Juliets cousin. Thats not verybrilliant. Mistake after mistake. Could he have destroyed his own happiness any morethoroughly? The movie eventually captured my interest, thanks in large part to Edward whisperingRomeos lines in my ear—his irresistible, velvet voice made the actors voice sound weak andcoarse by comparison.

And I did cry, to his amusement, when Juliet woke and found her newhusband dead. All you have to do is throw downone tiny vial of plant extracts…""What? Im not even sure how many ways Carlisle tried to kill himself in thebeginning… after he realized what hed become…" His voice, which had grown serious,turned light again. Like I said, its not as easy for me as it is for ahuman. I could see it all so clearly—the blinding sun, the heat waves coming off theconcrete as I ran with desperate haste to find the sadistic vampire who wanted to torture meto death.

James, waiting in the mirrored room with my mother as his hostage—or so Idthought. I hadnt known it was all a ruse. Just as James hadnt known that Edward wasracing to save me; Edward made it in time, but it had been a close one. Unthinkingly, myfingers traced the crescent-shaped scar on my hand that was always just a few degrees coolerthan the rest of my skin.

I shook my head—as if I could shake away the bad memories—and tried to grasp what Edwardmeant. My stomach plunged uncomfortably. Abruptly, Iwas furious. They are the closest thing our world has to a royal family, I suppose.

Carlisle lived with them briefly in his early years, in Italy, before he settled in America—doyou remember the story? The most vivid, mostwildly colorful canvas there, the largest, was from Carlisles time in Italy.

Of course Iremembered the calm quartet of men, each with the exquisite face of a seraph, painted intothe highest balcony overlooking the swirling mayhem of color. Though the painting wascenturies old, Carlisle—the blond angel—remained unchanged.

And I remembered the threeothers, Carlisles early acquaintances. Edward had never used the name Volturi for thebeautiful trio, two black-haired, one snow white. Hed called them Aro, Caius, and Marcus,nighttime patrons of the arts…"Anyway, you dont irritate the Volturi," Edward went on, interrupting ray reverie. My anger turned to horror. I took his marble face between my hands and held it very tightly. I thought wed established that all the bad luck is my fault?

He chuckled. Im not really that interesting. Abruptly, hepulled himself up into a more formal posture, shifting me to the side so that we were nolonger touching.

Edward smiled. After a moment, I heard the sound of the police cruiser pulling into thedriveway. I reached out and took his hand firmly. My dad could deal with that much. Charlie came in with a pizza box in his hands. Thanks, Dad. He was used to Edwardpassing on dinner. I looked at Charlie hopefully. Maybe he had some concept of birthdays as stay-at-home,family affairs—this was my first birthday with him, the first birthday since my mom, Renee,had remarried and gone to live in Florida, so I didnt know what he would expect.

He ought to know better than that—Id always been coordinationally challenged. The cameraglanced off the tip of my finger, and tumbled toward the floor. Edward snagged it before itcould crash onto the linoleum. You know how your mother gets—shell be wanting to see thepictures faster than you can take them. I turned the camera on Edward, and snapped the first picture. Hey, say hi to Alice for me. She hasnt been over in a while. Charlie was crazy about Alice.

Hed becomeattached last spring when shed helped me through my awkward convalescence; Charliewould be foreter grateful to her for saving him from the horror of an almost-adult daughterwho needed help showering. You kids have fun tonight. Charlie was already edgingtoward the living room and the TV.

Edward smiled, triumphant, and took my hand to pull me from the kitchen. When we got to the truck, he opened the passenger door for me again, and this time I didntargue.

I still had a hard time finding the obscure turnoff to his house in the dark. Edward drove north through Forks, visibly chafing at the speed limit enforced by myprehistoric Chevy. The engine groaned even louder than usual as he pushed it over fifty. A nice little Audi coupe. Very quiet, lots of power…""Theres nothing wrong with my truck. And speaking of expensive nonessentials, if youknow whats good for you, you didnt spend any money on birthday presents.

Cut us a little slack, and dont be too difficult tonight. Theyre all very excited. Dont worry, shell be on her best behavior. Like I could just not worry, that easy.

Unlike Alice, Edwards other"adopted" sister, the golden blond and exquisite Rosalie, didnt like me much. Actually, thefeeling was a little bit stronger than just dislike. As far as Rosalie was concerned, I was anunwelcome intruder into her familys secret life. I felt horribly guilty about the present situation, guessing that Rosalie and Emmettsprolonged absence was my fault, even as I furtively enjoyed not having to see her Emmett,Edwards playful bear of a brother, I did miss.

He was in many ways just like the big brotherId always wanted… only much, much more terrifying. Edward decided to change the subject. He obviously wished hed stuck to thesubject of Rosalie. It felt like wed had this argument a lot today. We were pulling up to the house now.

Bright light shined from every window on the firsttwo floors. A long line of glowing Japanese lanterns hung from the porch eaves, reflecting asoft radiance on the huge cedars that surrounded the house. Big bowls of flowers—pinkroses—lined the wide stairs up to the front doors.

I moaned. Edward took a few deep breaths to calm himself. He came around to get my door, and offered me his hand. He helped me out of the car, pulled me up the stairs, and was stilllaughing as he opened the door for me.

They were all waiting in the huge white living room; when I walked through the door, theygreeted me with a loud chorus of "Happy birthday, Bella! Alice, I assumed, had covered every flat surface with pink candles and dozens of crystalbowls filled with hundreds of roses.

There was a table with a white cloth draped over it nextto Edwards grand piano, holding a pink birthday cake, more roses, a stack of glass plates,and a small pile of silver-wrapped presents. It was a hundred times worse than Id imagined. Edward, sensing my distress, wrapped an encouraging arm around my waist and kissed thetop of my head. Edwards parents, Carlisle and Esme—impossibly youthful and lovely as ever—were the closestto the door.

Esme hugged me carefully, her soft, caramel-colored hair brushing against mycheek as she kissed my forehead, and then Carlisle put his arm around my shoulders.

Rosalie didnt smile, but at least she didnt glare. Emmetts face was stretched into a huge grin. It had been months since Id seen them; Idforgotten how gloriously beautiful Rosalie was—it almost hurt to look at her. And hadEmmett always been so… big? He laughed, "I have to step out for a second"—he paused to wink conspicuously atAlice—"Dont do anything funny while Im gone. Jasper smiled, too, but kept his distance. He leaned, long and blond, against the post at the During the days wed had to spend cooped up together in Phoenix, Idthought hed gotten over his aversion to me.

But hed gone back to exactly how hed actedbefore—avoiding me as much as possible—the moment he was free from that temporaryobligation to protect me. I knew it wasnt personal, just a precaution, and I tried not to beoverly sensitive about it. Jasper had more trouble sticking to the Cullens diet than the rest ofthem; the scent of human blood was much harder for him to resist than the others—he hadntbeen trying as long.

She put her cool hand under my elbow and towedme to the table with the cake and the shiny packages. I put on my best martyr face. The box was so light that it felt empty.

The tag on top said that it was from Emmett,Rosalie, and Jasper. Selfconsciously, I tore the paper off and then stared at the box itconcealed. It was something electrical, with lots of numbers in the name. I opened the box, hoping forfurther illumination.

But the box was empty. Jasper laughed. I heard his booming laugh from my truck, and I couldnt help laughing, too. Sheheld a small, flat square in her hand. I turned to give Edward a basilisk glare.

Hepushed in behind Jasper, who had also drifted closer than usual to get a good look. He brushed a strand of hair from my face,leaving my skin tingling from his touch. I inhaled deeply and turned to Alice. Emmett chuckled with delight. I took the little package, rolling my eyes at Edward while I stuck my finger under the edge ofthe paper and jerked it under the tape.

A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut. It all happened very quickly then. He threw himself at me, flinging me back across the table. It fell, as I did, scattering the cakeand the presents, the flowers and the plates. I landed in the mess of shattered crystal. Jasper slammed into Edward, and the sound was like the crash of boulders in a rock slide. There was another noise, a grisly snarling that seemed to be coming from deep in Jasperschest.

Jasper tried to shove past Edward, snapping his teeth just inches from Edwards face. Emmett grabbed Jasper from behind in the next second, locking him into his massive steelgrip, but Jasper struggled on, his wild, empty eyes focused only on me. Beyond the shock, there was also pain. Id tumbled down to the floor by the piano, with myarms thrown out instinctively to catch my fall, into the jagged shards of glass.

Only now did Ifeel the searing, stinging pain that ran from my wrist to the crease inside my elbow. Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm—into thefevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires. Centuries of experiencein the emergency room were evident in his quiet, authoritative voice.

Edwards face was whiter than bone as he wheeled to crouch over me, taking a clearlydefensive position. A low warning growl slid from between his clenched teeth. I could tellthat he wasnt breathing. Rosalie, her divine face strangely smug, stepped in front of Jasper—keeping a careful distancefrom his teeth—and helped Emmett wrestle him through the glass door that Esme held open,one hand pressed over her mouth and nose. Esmes heart-shaped face was ashamed.

A second passed, and then Edward nodded slowly and relaxed his stance. Carlisle knelt beside me, leaning close to examine my arm. I could feel the shock frozen onmy face, and I tried to compose it. He shook his head.

He twisted it around my arm above the elbowto form a tourniquet. The smell of the blood was making me dizzy. My ears rang. If he took me to the hospital, there would be no way to keep thisfrom Charlie. Edward lifted me effortlessly, while Carlisle kept the pressure steady on my arm.

Edwards face was like stone.

Alice was there. Carlisles black bag was already on the table, a small but brilliant desk lightplugged into the wall. Edward sat me gently into a chair, and Carlisle pulled up another. Hewent to work at once. Edward stood over me, still protective, still not breathing.

But his jaw was rigid; his eyes burned with the intensity of thethirst he fought, so much worse for him than it was for the others. Get somefresh air. Carlisle decided to intercede. Im sure hes upset with himself, and I doubt hell listen to anyone but you right now. Edwards eyes narrowed as we ganged up on him, but, finally, he nodded once and sprintedsmoothly through the kitchens back door.

I was sure he hadnt taken a breath since Id slicedmy finger. A numb, dead feeling was spreading through my arm. Though it erased the sting, it reminded me of the gash, and I watched Carlisles face carefullyto distract me from what his hands were doing. His hair gleamed gold in the bright light ashe bent over my arm.

I could feel the faint stirrings of unease in the pit of my stomach, but Iwas determined not to let my usual squeamishness get the best of me. There was no painnow, just a gentle tugging sensation that I tried to ignore.

No reason to get sick like a baby. If she hadnt been in my line of sight, I wouldnt have noticed Alice give up and steal out ofthe room. With a tiny, apologetic smile on her lips, she disappeared through the kitchendoorway. His relaxed calm was only more amazing set in direct contrast with everyone elses reaction. Icouldnt find any trace of anxiety in his face. He worked with quick, sure movements.

Theonly sound besides our quiet breathing was the soft plink, plink as the tiny fragments of glassdropped one by one to the table. Though the rest of them had given up the traditional diet of vampires just asabsolutely as Carlisle had, he was the only one who could bear the smell of my blood withoutsuffering from the intense temptation. Clearly, this was much more difficult than he made itseem.

And werent around any blood? I was surprised at how much glass there seemed to be in my arm. I wastempted to glance at the growing pile, just to check the size, but I knew that idea would notbe helpful to my no-vomiting strategy.

It didnt make sense to me—the years of struggle andself-denial he must have spent to get to the point where he could endure this so easily. Besides, I wanted to keep him talking; the conversation kept my mind off the queasy feelingin my stomach. His dark eyes were calm and thoughtful as he answered.

What I enjoy the very mostis when my… enhanced abilities let me save someone who would otherwise have been lost. Its pleasant knowing that, thanks to what I can do, some peoples lives are better because Iexist.

Even the sense of smell is a useful diagnostic tool at times. I mulled that over while he poked around, making sure all the glass splinters were gone. Then he rummaged in his bag for new tools, and I tried not to picture a needle and thread. You didnt choose this kind of life, and yet you have to work so hard to be good. The smell was strange; it made my head spin. The syrup stained my skin. But Im trying to understand what you were thinking…"His face was suddenly serious again, and I wondered if his thoughts had gone to the sameplace that mine had.

Wondering what I would be thinking when—I refused to think if—it wasme. The smell of alcohol burned in mynose. I didnt understand what he was doing, even when he lit the match. Thenhe threw it onto the alcohol-soaked fibers, and the sudden blaze made me jump.

But never, in the nearly four hundred years now since I was born, have I everseen anything to make me doubt whether God exists in some form or the other. Not even thereflection in the mirror. Religion was the last thing I expected, all things considered. Myown life was fairly devoid of belief. Charlie considered himself a Lutheran, because thatswhat his parents had been, but Sundays he worshipped by the river with a fishing pole in hishand. Renee tried out a church now and then, but, much like her brief affairs with tennis,pottery, yoga, and French classes, she moved on by the time I was aware of her newest fad.

Its a long shot, Ill admit," he continued in an offhand voice. But I hope, maybe foolishly, that well get somemeasure of credit for trying.

DOWNLOAD HERE http://ebookread.org/books.php?q=the-waxing-moon

I couldnt imagine anyone, deity included, whowouldnt be impressed by Carlisle. Besides, the only kind of heaven I could appreciate wouldhave to include Edward. Carlisle guessed the direction of my thoughts again. Godand heaven exist… and so does hell. But he doesnt believe there is an afterlife for our kind. The lightbulb flicked on over my head.

His strength, his goodness, the brightness thatshines out of him—and it only fuels that hope, that faith, more than ever. How could there notbe more for one such as Edward? Could you take away his soul? If hed asked me whether I would risk my soul for Edward, the reply would be obvious. Butwould I risk Edwards soul? I pursed my lips unhappily. That wasnt a fair exchange. Carlisle sighed. He laughed, abruptly lightening the mood.

Youre going to have to work this outwith him. I think, in mostother ways, that Ive done the best I could with what I had to work with.

But was it right todoom the others to this life? I cant decide. I imagined what my life would be like if Carlisle had resisted the temptationto change his lonely existence… and shuddered. Hestared unseeingly out the black windows. I realized Carlisles memory of them,despite the brevity of their contact, would be perfectly clear. Her name was Elizabeth. Elizabeth Masen. His father, Edward Senior, never regainedconsciousness in the hospital.

He died in the first wave of the influenza. But Elizabeth wasalert until almost the very end. Edward looks a great deal like her—she had that same strangebronze shade to her hair, and her eyes were exactly the same color green. She hurt her own chances of survival trying to nurse him from hersickbed. I expected that he would go first, he was so much worse off than she was.

When theend came for her, it was very quick. It was just after sunset, and Id arrived to relieve thedoctors whod been working all day. That was a hard time to pretend—there was so muchwork to be done, and I had no need of rest. How I hated to go back to my house, to hide inthe dark and pretend to sleep while so many were dying.

Id grown attached—always a dangerous thing todo considering the fragile nature of humans. I could see at once that shed taken a bad turn. The fever was raging out of control, and her body was too weak to fight anymore. The fever was so high, sheprobably couldnt even tell how unnaturally cold mine felt. Everything felt cold to her skin.

New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2)

Her eyes were hard, like stones, like emeralds. Youmust do everything in your power. What others cannot do, that is what you must do for myEdward. She looked it me with those piercing eyes, and, for one instant, I feltcertain that she knew my secret. Then the fever overwhelmed her, and she never regainedconsciousness. She died within an hour of making her demand.

Just one othercreature who could really know me, rather than what I pretended to be. But I could neverjustify it to myself—doing what had been done to me. It was clear that he had only hours left. Beside him, his mother,her face somehow not yet peaceful, not even in death. I could see itclearly, too, as he spoke—the despair of the hospital, the overwhelming atmosphere of death. Edward burning with fever, his life slipping away with each tick of the clock… I shudderedagain, and forced the picture from my mind.

How could she guess what I could do? Could anyonereally want that for her son? Sick as he was, he was still beautiful. There was something pure andgood about his face. The kind of face I would have wanted my son to have. I wheeled his mother to themorgue first, and then I came back for him.

No one noticed that he was still breathing. Therewerent enough hands, enough eyes, to keep track of half of what the patients needed. Themorgue was empty—of the living, at least. I stole him out the back door, and carried himacross the rooftops back to my home. I settled for recreating the wounds Id received myself, somany centuries earlier in London.

I felt bad about that later. It was more painful and lingeringthan necessary. Ive never been sorry that I saved Edward. He smiled at me. He came through the shadowy dining room, walking slowly forhim. His face was smooth, unreadable, but there was something wrong with hiseyes—something he was trying very hard to hide. I felt a spasm of unease in my stomach. I looked down at my shirt; the light blue cotton was soakedand spotted with my blood. My right shoulder was covered in thick pink frosting.

Youd giveCharlie a heart attack the way you look. Ill have Alice get you something. I looked at Carlisle anxiously.

Youbeing put in danger, because of what we are. I couldnt agree with that. Carlisle offered me his hand and helped me up from the table. I followed him out into themain room. Esme had come back; she was mopping the floor where Id fallen—with straightbleach from the smell of it. Alice and Edward came in the back doors. Alice hurried to my side, but Edward hung back,his face indecipherable. Charliewouldnt notice, I was sure.

The long white bandage on my arm didnt look nearly as seriouswhen I was no longer spattered in gore. Charlie was never surprised to see me bandaged. Even though wewere upstairs, with the door closed, perhaps he could hear me. Her face tensed. Its all so much more of challenge for him, andhe hates feeling weak. Youll tell him that Im not mad at him, not at all, wont you? As I got to the bottom of the staircase, he heldit open without a word. She scooped up the twopackages, one half-opened, and my camera from under the piano, and pressed them into mygood arm.

I could see them stealing quick glances attheir impassive son, much like I was. It was a relief to be outside; I hurried past the lanterns and the roses, now unwelcomereminders. Edward kept pace with me silently. He opened the passenget side for me, and Iclimbed in without complaint.

On the dashboard was a big red ribbon, stuck to the new stereo. I pulled it off, throwing it tothe floor. As Edward slid into the other side, I kicked the ribbon under my seat.

He didnt look at me or the stereo. Neither of us switched it on, and the silence wassomehow intensified by the sudden thunder of the engine.

He drove too fast down the dark,serpentine lane. The silence was making me insane. I cringed at his remoteness. Tell me you forgive me. For what? If youd cut yourself at Mike Newtons house, with Jessica there and Angela andyour other normal friends, the worst that could possibly have happened would be what?

Maybe they couldnt find you a bandage? If youd tripped and knocked over a pile of glassplates on your own—without someone throwing you into them—even then, whats the worst? Youd get blood on the seats when they drove you to the emergency room? Mike Newtoncould have held your hand while they stitched you up—and he wouldnt be righting the urge Dont try to take any of this on yourself, Bella.

It willonly make me more disgusted with myself. He glared through the windshield, his expression black. I racked my brain for some way to salvage the evening. When we pulled up in front of myhouse, I still hadnt come up with anything.

He killed the engine, but his hands stayed clenched around the steering wheel. One or the other. I breathed a silent sigh of relief. Ive decided that I dont want you to ignore my birthday. Ill see you upstairs. He frowned. Carlisle and Esme spent money on you. He was out of the truck and by my side in less than a second. I reached up on my toes to make the kiss last longer when he pulled away.

He smiled myfavorite crooked smile, and then he disappeared into the darkness. The game was still on; as soon as I walked through the front door I could hear the announcerrambling over the babble of the crowd.

I held my arm close to my side. To someone in the know—someone like me—these similarities marked them for what they were. The sight of Alice waiting there—her tawny eyes brilliant with excitement, and a small silver-wrapped square in her hands—made me frown. I'd told Alice I didn't want anything, anything, not gifts or even attention, for my birthday. Obviously, my wishes were being ignored. I slammed the door of my '53 Chevy truck—a shower of rust specks fluttered down to the wet blacktop—and walked slowly toward where they waited.

Alice skipped forward to meet me, her pixie face glowing under her spiky black hair. The last thing I wanted was some kind of celebration of the black event.

She ignored me. She finally seemed to process my mood. Did you like the scrapbook your mom sent you? And the camera from Charlie? Of course she would know what my birthday presents were. Edward wasn't the only member of his family with unusual skills. Alice would have "seen" what my parents were planning as soon as they'd decided that themselves.

They're great. You're only a senior once. Might as well document the experience. I took it eagerly, forgetting, for a moment, my glum mood. His skin was, as always, smooth, hard, and very cold. He gave my fingers a gentle squeeze. I looked into his liquid topa2 eyes, and my heart gave a not-quite-so-gentle squeeze of its own. Hearing the stutter in my heartbeats, he smiled again.

He lifted his free hand and traced one cool fingertip around the outside of my lips as he spoke. That is correct. It was something that could only be picked up in an earlier century.

Most people seem to enjoy things like birthdays and gifts. Everyone is supposed to be nice to you today and give you your way, Bella. What's the worst that could happen? Beside me, Edward's smile tightened into a hard line. He sighed. But Edward was dead set against any future that changed me. Any future that made me like him—that made me immortal, too. An impasse, he called it. I couldn't really see Edward's point, to be honest.

What was so great about mortality? Being a vampire didn't look like such a terrible thing—not the way the Cullens did it, anyway. From her expression, she was up to exactly the kind of thing I'd been hoping to avoid. Newton about it. She's trading your shifts. She said to tell you 'Happy Birthday. Berty said we needed to see it performed to fully appreciate it—that's how Shakespeare intended it to be presented.

Berty said it was the best. If Bella wants to watch a movie, then she can. It's her birthday. See you tonight, Bella! It'll be fun, you'll see. We're going to be late for class. Edward and I had been together too long now to be an object of gossip anymore. Even Mike Newton didn't bother to give me the glum stare that used to make me feel a little guilty. He smiled now instead, and I was glad he seemed to have accepted that we could only be friends.

Mike had changed over the summer—his face had lost some of the roundness, making his cheekbones more prominent, and he was wearing his pale blond hair a new way; instead of bristly, it was longer and gelled into a carefully casual disarray. It was easy to see where his inspiration came from—but Edward's look wasn't something that could be achieved through imitation. As the day progressed, I considered ways to get out of whatever was going down at the Cullen house tonight.

It would be bad enough to have to celebrate when I was in the mood to mourn. But, worse than that, this was sure to involve attention and gifts. Attention is never a good thing, as any other accident-prone klutz would agree. No one wants a spotlight when they're likely to fall on their face.

And I'd very pointedly asked—well, ordered really—that no one give me any presents this year. It looked like Charlie and Renee weren't the only ones who had decided to overlook that. I'd never had much money, and that had never bothered me. Renee had raised me on a kindergarten teacher's salary. Charlie wasn't getting rich at his job, either—he was the police chief here in the tiny town of Forks.

My only personal income came from the three days a week I worked at the local sporting goods store. In a town this small, I was lucky to have a job.

Every penny I made went into my microscopic college fund. College was Plan B. I was still hoping for Plan A, but Edward was just so stubborn about leaving me human… Edward had a lot of money—I didn't even want to think about how much.

Money meant next to nothing to Edward or the rest of the Cullens. It was just something that accumulated when you had unlimited time on your hands and a sister who had an uncanny ability to predict trends in the stock market. Edward didn't seem to understand why I objected to him spending money on me—why it made me uncomfortable if he took me to an expensive restaurant in Seattle, why he wasn't allowed to download me a car that could reach speeds over fifty-five miles an hour, or why I wouldn't let him pay my college tuition he was ridiculously enthusiastic about Plan B.

Edward thought I was being unnecessarily difficult. But how could I let him give me things when I had nothing to reciprocate with? He, for some unfathomable reason, wanted to be with me. Anything he gave me on top of that just threw us more out of balance. As the day went on, neither Edward nor Alice brought my birthday up again, and I began to relax a little. We sat at our usual table for lunch.

A strange kind of truce existed at that table. The three of us—Edward, Alice, and I—sat on the extreme southern end of the table. Now that the "older" and somewhat scarier in Emmett's case, certainly Cullen siblings had graduated, Alice and Edward did not seem quite so intimidating, and we did not sit here alone.

My other friends, Mike and Jessica who were in the awkward post-breakup friendship phase , Angela and Ben whose relationship had survived the summer , Eric, Conner, Tyler, and Lauren though that last one didn't really count in the friend category all sat at the same table, on the other side of an invisible line. That line dissolved on sunny days when Edward and Alice always skipped school, and then the conversation would swell out effortlessly to include me.

Edward and Alice didn't find this minor ostracism odd or hurtful the way I would have. They barely noticed it. People always felt strangely ill at ease with the Cullens, almost afraid for some reason they couldn't explain to themselves. I was a rare exception to that rule. Sometimes it bothered Edward how very comfortable I was with being close to him.

He thought he was hazardous to my health—an opinion I rejected vehemently whenever he voiced it. The afternoon passed quickly. School ended, and Edward walked me to my truck as he usually did. But this time, he held the passenger door open for me. Alice must have been taking his car home so that he could keep me from making a run for it. I folded my arms and made no move to get out of the rain. I climbed in the opened door, wishing he'd taken the other offer. Edward played with the radio while I drove, shaking his head in disapproval.

I didn't like it when he picked on my truck. The truck was great—it had personality. Drive your own car. I was hardly ever bad-tempered with Edward, and my tone made him press his lips together to keep from smiling. When I parked in front of Charlie's house, he reached over to take my face in his hands. He handled me very carefully, pressing just the tips of his fingers softly against my temples, my cheekbones, my jawline.

Like I was especially breakable. Which was exactly the case—compared with him, at least. His sweet breath fanned across my face. His golden eyes smoldered.

As he intended, no doubt, I forgot all about my worries, and concentrated on remembering how to inhale and exhale. His mouth lingered on mine, cold and smooth and gentle, until I wrapped my arms around his neck and threw myself into the kiss with a little too much enthusiasm.

I could feel his lips curve upward as he let go of my face and reached back to unlock my grip on him. Edward had drawn many careful lines for our physical relationship, with the intent being to keep me alive. Though I respected the need for maintaining a safe distance between my skin and his razor-sharp, venom-coated teeth, I tended to forget about trivial things like that when he was kissing me.

He pressed his lips gently to mine one more time and then pulled away, folding my arms across my stomach. My pulse was thudding in my ears. I put one hand over my heart. It drummed hyperactively under my palm. I rolled my eyes. When I perched on the edge of the sofa in front of him, he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me against his chest. It wasn't exactly as comfortable as a sofa cushion would be, what with his chest being hard and cold—and perfect—as an ice sculpture, but it was definitely preferable.

He pulled the old afghan off the back of the couch and draped it over me so I wouldn't freeze beside his body. Romeo was one of my favorite fictional characters. Until I'd met Edward, I'd sort of had a thing for him. And then, a few minutes after their wedding, he kills Juliet's cousin. That's not very brilliant. Mistake after mistake. Could he have destroyed his own happiness any more thoroughly? The movie eventually captured my interest, thanks in large part to Edward whispering Romeo's lines in my ear—his irresistible, velvet voice made the actor's voice sound weak and coarse by comparison.

And I did cry, to his amusement, when Juliet woke and found her new husband dead. All you have to do is throw down one tiny vial of plant extracts…" "What?

I'm not even sure how many ways Carlisle tried to kill himself in the beginning… after he realized what he'd become…" His voice, which had grown serious, turned light again. Like I said, it's not as easy for me as it is for a human. I could see it all so clearly—the blinding sun, the heat waves coming off the concrete as I ran with desperate haste to find the sadistic vampire who wanted to torture me to death. James, waiting in the mirrored room with my mother as his hostage—or so I'd thought.

I hadn't known it was all a ruse. Just as James hadn't known that Edward was racing to save me; Edward made it in time, but it had been a close one. Unthinkingly, my fingers traced the crescent-shaped scar on my hand that was always just a few degrees cooler than the rest of my skin. I shook my head—as if I could shake away the bad memories—and tried to grasp what Edward meant. My stomach plunged uncomfortably. Abruptly, I was furious. They are the closest thing our world has to a royal family, I suppose.

Carlisle lived with them briefly in his early years, in Italy, before he settled in America—do you remember the story? The most vivid, most wildly colorful canvas there, the largest, was from Carlisle's time in Italy. Of course I remembered the calm quartet of men, each with the exquisite face of a seraph, painted into the highest balcony overlooking the swirling mayhem of color. Though the painting was centuries old, Carlisle—the blond angel—remained unchanged.

And I remembered the three others, Carlisle's early acquaintances. Edward had never used the name Volturi for the beautiful trio, two black-haired, one snow white.

He'd called them Aro, Caius, and Marcus, nighttime patrons of the arts… "Anyway, you don't irritate the Volturi," Edward went on, interrupting ray reverie. My anger turned to horror. I took his marble face between my hands and held it very tightly.

I thought we'd established that all the bad luck is my fault? He chuckled. I'm not really that interesting. Abruptly, he pulled himself up into a more formal posture, shifting me to the side so that we were no longer touching. Edward smiled. After a moment, I heard the sound of the police cruiser pulling into the driveway.

I reached out and took his hand firmly. My dad could deal with that much. Charlie came in with a pizza box in his hands. Thanks, Dad. He was used to Edward passing on dinner. I looked at Charlie hopefully. Maybe he had some concept of birthdays as stay-at-home, family affairs—this was my first birthday with him, the first birthday since my mom, Renee, had remarried and gone to live in Florida, so I didn't know what he would expect.

He ought to know better than that—I'd always been coordinationally challenged. The camera glanced off the tip of my finger, and tumbled toward the floor. Edward snagged it before it could crash onto the linoleum. You know how your mother gets—she'll be wanting to see the pictures faster than you can take them. I turned the camera on Edward, and snapped the first picture.

Hey, say hi to Alice for me. She hasn't been over in a while. Charlie was crazy about Alice. He'd become attached last spring when she'd helped me through my awkward convalescence; Charlie would be fore'ter grateful to her for saving him from the horror of an almost-adult daughter who needed help showering.

You kids have fun tonight. Charlie was already edging toward the living room and the TV. Edward smiled, triumphant, and took my hand to pull me from the kitchen. When we got to the truck, he opened the passenger door for me again, and this time I didn't argue. I still had a hard time finding the obscure turnoff to his house in the dark. Edward drove north through Forks, visibly chafing at the speed limit enforced by my prehistoric Chevy.

The engine groaned even louder than usual as he pushed it over fifty. A nice little Audi coupe. Very quiet, lots of power…" "There's nothing wrong with my truck. And speaking of expensive nonessentials, if you know what's good for you, you didn't spend any money on birthday presents.

Cut us a little slack, and don't be too difficult tonight. They're all very excited. Don't worry, she'll be on her best behavior. Like I could just not worry, that easy. Unlike Alice, Edward's other "adopted" sister, the golden blond and exquisite Rosalie, didn't like me much. Actually, the feeling was a little bit stronger than just dislike. As far as Rosalie was concerned, I was an unwelcome intruder into her family's secret life. I felt horribly guilty about the present situation, guessing that Rosalie and Emmett's prolonged absence was my fault, even as I furtively enjoyed not having to see her Emmett, Edward's playful bear of a brother, I did miss.

He was in many ways just like the big brother I'd always wanted… only much, much more terrifying. Edward decided to change the subject. He obviously wished he'd stuck to the subject of Rosalie. It felt like we'd had this argument a lot today. We were pulling up to the house now. Bright light shined from every window on the first two floors. A long line of glowing Japanese lanterns hung from the porch eaves, reflecting a soft radiance on the huge cedars that surrounded the house.

Big bowls of flowers—pink roses—lined the wide stairs up to the front doors. I moaned. Edward took a few deep breaths to calm himself. He came around to get my door, and offered me his hand. He helped me out of the car, pulled me up the stairs, and was still laughing as he opened the door for me. They were all waiting in the huge white living room; when I walked through the door, they greeted me with a loud chorus of "Happy birthday, Bella!

Alice, I assumed, had covered every flat surface with pink candles and dozens of crystal bowls filled with hundreds of roses. There was a table with a white cloth draped over it next to Edward's grand piano, holding a pink birthday cake, more roses, a stack of glass plates, and a small pile of silver-wrapped presents.

It was a hundred times worse than I'd imagined. Edward, sensing my distress, wrapped an encouraging arm around my waist and kissed the top of my head. Edward's parents, Carlisle and Esme—impossibly youthful and lovely as ever—were the closest to the door. Esme hugged me carefully, her soft, caramel-colored hair brushing against my cheek as she kissed my forehead, and then Carlisle put his arm around my shoulders.

Rosalie didn't smile, but at least she didn't glare. Emmett's face was stretched into a huge grin. It had been months since I'd seen them; I'd forgotten how gloriously beautiful Rosalie was—it almost hurt to look at her. And had Emmett always been so… big? He laughed, "I have to step out for a second"—he paused to wink conspicuously at Alice—"Don't do anything funny while I'm gone.

Jasper smiled, too, but kept his distance. He leaned, long and blond, against the post at the foot of the stairs. During the days we'd had to spend cooped up together in Phoenix, I'd thought he'd gotten over his aversion to me. But he'd gone back to exactly how he'd acted before—avoiding me as much as possible—the moment he was free from that temporary obligation to protect me.

I knew it wasn't personal, just a precaution, and I tried not to be overly sensitive about it. Jasper had more trouble sticking to the Cullens' diet than the rest of them; the scent of human blood was much harder for him to resist than the others—he hadn't been trying as long. She put her cool hand under my elbow and towed me to the table with the cake and the shiny packages.

I put on my best martyr face. The box was so light that it felt empty.

Twilight Saga, Book 2: New Moon (PDF)

The tag on top said that it was from Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper. Selfconsciously, I tore the paper off and then stared at the box it concealed. It was something electrical, with lots of numbers in the name. I opened the box, hoping for further illumination. But the box was empty. Jasper laughed. I heard his booming laugh from my truck, and I couldn't help laughing, too. She held a small, flat square in her hand. I turned to give Edward a basilisk glare. He pushed in behind Jasper, who had also drifted closer than usual to get a good look.

He brushed a strand of hair from my face, leaving my skin tingling from his touch. I inhaled deeply and turned to Alice. Emmett chuckled with delight. I took the little package, rolling my eyes at Edward while I stuck my finger under the edge of the paper and jerked it under the tape. A single drop of blood oozed from the tiny cut. It all happened very quickly then. He threw himself at me, flinging me back across the table. It fell, as I did, scattering the cake and the presents, the flowers and the plates.

I landed in the mess of shattered crystal. Jasper slammed into Edward, and the sound was like the crash of boulders in a rock slide. There was another noise, a grisly snarling that seemed to be coming from deep in Jasper's chest. Jasper tried to shove past Edward, snapping his teeth just inches from Edward's face.

Emmett grabbed Jasper from behind in the next second, locking him into his massive steel grip, but Jasper struggled on, his wild, empty eyes focused only on me. Beyond the shock, there was also pain. I'd tumbled down to the floor by the piano, with my arms thrown out instinctively to catch my fall, into the jagged shards of glass. Only now did I feel the searing, stinging pain that ran from my wrist to the crease inside my elbow. Dazed and disoriented, I looked up from the bright red blood pulsing out of my arm—into the fevered eyes of the six suddenly ravenous vampires.

Centuries of experience in the emergency room were evident in his quiet, authoritative voice. Edward's face was whiter than bone as he wheeled to crouch over me, taking a clearly defensive position. A low warning growl slid from between his clenched teeth. I could tell that he wasn't breathing. Rosalie, her divine face strangely smug, stepped in front of Jasper—keeping a careful distance from his teeth—and helped Emmett wrestle him through the glass door that Esme held open, one hand pressed over her mouth and nose.

Esme's heart-shaped face was ashamed. A second passed, and then Edward nodded slowly and relaxed his stance.

Carlisle knelt beside me, leaning close to examine my arm. I could feel the shock frozen on my face, and I tried to compose it. He shook his head. He twisted it around my arm above the elbow to form a tourniquet.

The smell of the blood was making me dizzy. My ears rang. If he took me to the hospital, there would be no way to keep this from Charlie. Edward lifted me effortlessly, while Carlisle kept the pressure steady on my arm.

Edward's face was like stone. Alice was there. Carlisle's black bag was already on the table, a small but brilliant desk light plugged into the wall.

Edward sat me gently into a chair, and Carlisle pulled up another. He went to work at once. Edward stood over me, still protective, still not breathing. But his jaw was rigid; his eyes burned with the intensity of the thirst he fought, so much worse for him than it was for the others. Get some fresh air. Carlisle decided to intercede. I'm sure he's upset with himself, and I doubt he'll listen to anyone but you right now. Edward's eyes narrowed as we ganged up on him, but, finally, he nodded once and sprinted smoothly through the kitchen's back door.

I was sure he hadn't taken a breath since I'd sliced my finger. A numb, dead feeling was spreading through my arm. Though it erased the sting, it reminded me of the gash, and I watched Carlisle's face carefully to distract me from what his hands were doing. His hair gleamed gold in the bright light as he bent over my arm. I could feel the faint stirrings of unease in the pit of my stomach, but I was determined not to let my usual squeamishness get the best of me.

There was no pain now, just a gentle tugging sensation that I tried to ignore. No reason to get sick like a baby. If she hadn't been in my line of sight, I wouldn't have noticed Alice give up and steal out of the room. With a tiny, apologetic smile on her lips, she disappeared through the kitchen doorway. His relaxed calm was only more amazing set in direct contrast with everyone else's reaction.

I couldn't find any trace of anxiety in his face. He worked with quick, sure movements. The only sound besides our quiet breathing was the soft plink, plink as the tiny fragments of glass dropped one by one to the table. Though the rest of them had given up the traditional diet of vampires just as absolutely as Carlisle had, he was the only one who could bear the smell of my blood without suffering from the intense temptation.

Clearly, this was much more difficult than he made it seem. And weren't around any blood? I was surprised at how much glass there seemed to be in my arm. I was tempted to glance at the growing pile, just to check the size, but I knew that idea would not be helpful to my no-vomiting strategy. It didn't make sense to me—the years of struggle and self-denial he must have spent to get to the point where he could endure this so easily.

Besides, I wanted to keep him talking; the conversation kept my mind off the queasy feeling in my stomach. His dark eyes were calm and thoughtful as he answered. What I enjoy the very most is when my… enhanced abilities let me save someone who would otherwise have been lost. It's pleasant knowing that, thanks to what I can do, some people's lives are better because I exist. Even the sense of smell is a useful diagnostic tool at times.

I mulled that over while he poked around, making sure all the glass splinters were gone. Then he rummaged in his bag for new tools, and I tried not to picture a needle and thread. You didn't choose this kind of life, and yet you have to work so hard to be good. The smell was strange; it made my head spin. The syrup stained my skin. But I'm trying to understand what you were thinking…" His face was suddenly serious again, and I wondered if his thoughts had gone to the same place that mine had.

Wondering what I would be thinking when—I refused to think if—it was me. The smell of alcohol burned in my nose. I didn't understand what he was doing, even when he lit the match.

Then he threw it onto the alcohol-soaked fibers, and the sudden blaze made me jump. But never, in the nearly four hundred years now since I was born, have I ever seen anything to make me doubt whether God exists in some form or the other. Not even the reflection in the mirror. Religion was the last thing I expected, all things considered. My own life was fairly devoid of belief. Charlie considered himself a Lutheran, because that's what his parents had been, but Sundays he worshipped by the river with a fishing pole in his hand.

Renee tried out a church now and then, but, much like her brief affairs with tennis, pottery, yoga, and French classes, she moved on by the time I was aware of her newest fad.

It's a long shot, I'll admit," he continued in an offhand voice. But I hope, maybe foolishly, that we'll get some measure of credit for trying. I couldn't imagine anyone, deity included, who wouldn't be impressed by Carlisle.

Besides, the only kind of heaven I could appreciate would have to include Edward. Carlisle guessed the direction of my thoughts again. God and heaven exist… and so does hell. But he doesn't believe there is an afterlife for our kind.

The lightbulb flicked on over my head. His strength, his goodness, the brightness that shines out of him—and it only fuels that hope, that faith, more than ever. How could there not be more for one such as Edward? Could you take away his soul? If he'd asked me whether I would risk my soul for Edward, the reply would be obvious.

But would I risk Edward's soul? I pursed my lips unhappily. That wasn't a fair exchange. Carlisle sighed. He laughed, abruptly lightening the mood. You're going to have to work this out with him. I think, in most other ways, that I've done the best I could with what I had to work with.

But was it right to doom the others to this life? I can't decide. I imagined what my life would be like if Carlisle had resisted the temptation to change his lonely existence… and shuddered.

He stared unseeingly out the black windows. I realized Carlisle's memory of them, despite the brevity of their contact, would be perfectly clear. Her name was Elizabeth. Elizabeth Masen. His father, Edward Senior, never regained consciousness in the hospital. He died in the first wave of the influenza. But Elizabeth was alert until almost the very end. Edward looks a great deal like her—she had that same strange bronze shade to her hair, and her eyes were exactly the same color green.

She hurt her own chances of survival trying to nurse him from her sickbed. I expected that he would go first, he was so much worse off than she was. When the end came for her, it was very quick. It was just after sunset, and I'd arrived to relieve the doctors who'd been working all day. That was a hard time to pretend—there was so much work to be done, and I had no need of rest. How I hated to go back to my house, to hide in the dark and pretend to sleep while so many were dying.

I'd grown attached—always a dangerous thing to do considering the fragile nature of humans. I could see at once that she'd taken a bad turn. The fever was raging out of control, and her body was too weak to fight anymore. The fever was so high, she probably couldn't even tell how unnaturally cold mine felt. Everything felt cold to her skin. Her eyes were hard, like stones, like emeralds.

What others cannot do, that is what you must do for my Edward. She looked it me with those piercing eyes, and, for one instant, I felt certain that she knew my secret.

Then the fever overwhelmed her, and she never regained consciousness. She died within an hour of making her demand. Just one other creature who could really know me, rather than what I pretended to be. But I could never justify it to myself—doing what had been done to me.

It was clear that he had only hours left. Beside him, his mother, her face somehow not yet peaceful, not even in death. I could see it clearly, too, as he spoke—the despair of the hospital, the overwhelming atmosphere of death. Edward burning with fever, his life slipping away with each tick of the clock… I shuddered again, and forced the picture from my mind.

How could she guess what I could do? Could anyone really want that for her son? Sick as he was, he was still beautiful. There was something pure and good about his face. The kind of face I would have wanted my son to have. I wheeled his mother to the morgue first, and then I came back for him. No one noticed that he was still breathing.

There weren't enough hands, enough eyes, to keep track of half of what the patients needed. The morgue was empty—of the living, at least. I stole him out the back door, and carried him across the rooftops back to my home. I settled for recreating the wounds I'd received myself, so many centuries earlier in London. I felt bad about that later. It was more painful and lingering than necessary. I've never been sorry that I saved Edward.

He smiled at me. He came through the shadowy dining room, walking slowly for him. His face was smooth, unreadable, but there was something wrong with his eyes—something he was trying very hard to hide. I felt a spasm of unease in my stomach.

I looked down at my shirt; the light blue cotton was soaked and spotted with my blood. My right shoulder was covered in thick pink frosting. You'd give Charlie a heart attack the way you look. I'll have Alice get you something.

I looked at Carlisle anxiously. You being put in danger, because of what we are. I couldn't agree with that. Carlisle offered me his hand and helped me up from the table.

I followed him out into the main room. Esme had come back; she was mopping the floor where I'd fallen—with straight bleach from the smell of it.

Alice and Edward came in the back doors. Alice hurried to my side, but Edward hung back, his face indecipherable. Charlie wouldn't notice, I was sure. The long white bandage on my arm didn't look nearly as serious when I was no longer spattered in gore. Charlie was never surprised to see me bandaged.

Even though we were upstairs, with the door closed, perhaps he could hear me. Her face tensed. It's all so much more of challenge for him, and he hates feeling weak. You'll tell him that I'm not mad at him, not at all, won't you? As I got to the bottom of the staircase, he held it open without a word. She scooped up the two packages, one half-opened, and my camera from under the piano, and pressed them into my good arm. I could see them stealing quick glances at their impassive son, much like I was.

It was a relief to be outside; I hurried past the lanterns and the roses, now unwelcome reminders. Edward kept pace with me silently. He opened the passenget side for me, and I climbed in without complaint. On the dashboard was a big red ribbon, stuck to the new stereo. I pulled it off, throwing it to the floor.

As Edward slid into the other side, I kicked the ribbon under my seat. He didn't look at me or the stereo. Neither of us switched it on, and the silence was somehow intensified by the sudden thunder of the engine. He drove too fast down the dark, serpentine lane.

The silence was making me insane. I cringed at his remoteness. For what? If you'd cut yourself at Mike Newton's house, with Jessica there and Angela and your other normal friends, the worst that could possibly have happened would be what?

Maybe they couldn't find you a bandage? If you'd tripped and knocked over a pile of glass plates on your own—without someone throwing you into them—even then, what's the worst? You'd get blood on the seats when they drove you to the emergency room? Mike Newton could have held your hand while they stitched you up—and he wouldn't be righting the urge to kill you the whole time he was there.

Don't try to take any of this on yourself, Bella. It will only make me more disgusted with myself. He glared through the windshield, his expression black. I racked my brain for some way to salvage the evening. When we pulled up in front of my house, I still hadn't come up with anything. He killed the engine, but his hands stayed clenched around the steering wheel.

One or the other. I breathed a silent sigh of relief. I've decided that I don't want you to ignore my birthday. I'll see you upstairs. He frowned. Carlisle and Esme spent money on you. He was out of the truck and by my side in less than a second.

I reached up on my toes to make the kiss last longer when he pulled away. He smiled my favorite crooked smile, and then he disappeared into the darkness. The game was still on; as soon as I walked through the front door I could hear the announcer rambling over the babble of the crowd. I held my arm close to my side. The slight pressure burned, and I wrinkled my nose. The anesthetic was apparently losing its effectiveness. What was left of his curly brown hair was crushed flat on one side.

Flowers, cake, candles, presents—the whole bit. It's nothing. I shrugged into the matching tank top and cotton pants that I'd gotten to replace the holey sweats I used to wear to bed, wincing as the movement pulled at the stitches. I washed my face one-handed, brushed my teeth, and then skipped to my room.

He was sitting in the center of my bed, toying idly with one of the silver boxes. His voice was sad. He was wallowing. I went to the bed, pushed the presents out of his hands, and climbed into his lap.

He took the gift from my hand and tore the silver paper off with one fluid movement. He handed the rectangular white box back to me.

TOP Related


Copyright © 2019 osakeya.info. All rights reserved.
DMCA |Contact Us