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Stephenie Meyer - Eclipse

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Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 143 “I disagree.” 1 “I’m not negotiating this, Bella.” 2 “Neither am I.” 3 His hands were in fists again. I could feel them against 4 my back. 5 The words popped out thoughtlessly. “Is this really just 6 about my safety?” 7 “What do you mean?” he demanded. 8 “You aren’t . . .” Angela’s theory seemed sillier now 9 than before. It was hard to finish the thought. “I mean, 10 you know better than to be jealous, right?” 11 He raised one eyebrow. “Do I?” 12 “Be serious.” 13 “Easily — there’s nothing remotely humorous about 14 this.” 15 I frowned suspiciously. “Or . . . is this something else 16 altogether? Some vampires-and-werewolves-are-always- 17 enemies nonsense? Is this just a testosterone-fueled —” 18 His eyes blazed. “This is only about you. All I care is 19 that you’re safe.” 20 The black fire in his eyes was impossible to doubt. 21 “Okay,” I sighed. “I believe that. But I want you to 22 know something — when it comes to all this enemies non- 23 sense, I’m out. I am a neutral country. I am Switzerland. I 24 refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between myth- 25 ical creatures. Jacob is family. You are . . . well, not exactly 26 the love of my life, because I expect to love you for much 27 longer than that. The love of my existence. I don’t care 28 who’s a werewolf and who’s a vampire. If Angela turns out 29 sh to be a witch, she can join the party, too.” 30 reg 143 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 144 1 He stared at me silently through narrowed eyes. 2 “Switzerland,” I repeated again for emphasis. 3 He frowned at me, and then sighed. “Bella . . . ,” he 4 began, but he paused, and his nose wrinkled in disgust. 5 “What now?” 6 “Well . . . don’t be offended, but you smell like a dog,” 7 he told me. 8 And then he smiled crookedly, so I knew the fight was 9 over. For now. 10 11 Edward had to make up for the missed hunting trip, and 12 so he was leaving Friday night with Jasper, Emmett, and 13 Carlisle to hit some reserve in Northern California with a 14 mountain lion problem. 15 16 We’d come to no agreement on the werewolf issue, but 17 I didn’t feel guilty calling Jake — during my brief win- 18 dow of opportunity when Edward took the Volvo home 19 before climbing back in through my window — to let 20 him know I’d be coming over on Saturday again. It wasn’t 21 sneaking around. Edward knew how I felt. And if he broke 22 my truck again, then I’d have Jacob pick me up. Forks was 23 neutral, just like Switzerland — just like me. 24 25 So when I got off work Thursday and it was Alice 26 rather than Edward waiting for me in the Volvo, I was not 27 suspicious at first. The passenger door was open, and mu- 28 sic I didn’t recognize was shaking the frame when the bass sh 29 played. reg 30 “Hey, Alice,” I shouted over the wailing as I climbed in. “Where’s your brother?” 144 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 145 She was singing along to the song, her voice an octave 1 higher than the melody, weaving through it with a com- 2 plicated harmony. She nodded at me, ignoring my ques- 3 tion as she concentrated on the music. 4 5 I shut my door and put my hands over my ears. She 6 grinned, and turned the volume down until it was just back- 7 ground. Then she hit the locks and the gas in the same 8 second. 9 10 “What’s going on?” I asked, starting to feel uneasy. 11 “Where is Edward?” 12 13 She shrugged. “They left early.” 14 “Oh.” I tried to control the absurd disappointment. If he 15 left early, that meant he’d be back sooner, I reminded myself. 16 “All the boys went, and we’re having a slumber party!” 17 she announced in a trilling, singsong voice. 18 “A slumber party?” I repeated, the suspicion finally 19 settling in. 20 “Aren’t you excited?” she crowed. 21 I met her animated gaze for a long second. 22 “You’re kidnapping me, aren’t you?” 23 She laughed and nodded. “Till Saturday. Esme cleared 24 it with Charlie; you’re staying with me two nights, and I 25 will drive you to and from school tomorrow.” 26 I turned my face to the window, my teeth grinding to- 27 gether. 28 “Sorry,” Alice said, not sounding in the least bit peni- 29 sh tent. “He paid me off.” 30 reg “How?” I hissed through my teeth. “The Porsche. It’s exactly like the one I stole in Italy.” She 145 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 146 1 sighed happily. “I’m not supposed to drive it around Forks, 2 but if you want, we could see how long it takes to get from 3 here to L.A. — I bet I could have you back by midnight.” 4 5 I took a deep breath. “I think I’ll pass,” I sighed, re- 6 pressing a shudder. 7 8 We wound, always too fast, down the long drive. Alice 9 pulled around to the garage, and I quickly looked over the 10 cars. Emmett’s big jeep was there, with a shiny canary yel- 11 low Porsche between it and Rosalie’s red convertible. 12 13 Alice hopped out gracefully and went to stroke her 14 hand along the length of her bribe. “Pretty, isn’t it?” 15 16 “Pretty over-the-top,” I grumbled, incredulous. “He 17 gave you that just for two days of holding me hostage?” 18 19 Alice made a face. 20 A second later, comprehension came and I gasped in 21 horror. “It’s for every time he’s gone, isn’t it?” 22 She nodded. 23 I slammed my door and stomped toward the house. She 24 danced along next to me, still unrepentant. 25 “Alice, don’t you think this is just a little bit control- 26 ling? Just a tiny bit psychotic, maybe?” 27 “Not really.” She sniffed. “You don’t seem to grasp how 28 dangerous a young werewolf can be. Especially when I sh 29 can’t see them. Edward has no way to know if you’re safe. reg 30 You shouldn’t be so reckless.” My voice turned acidic. “Yes, because a vampire slum- ber party is the pinnacle of safety conscious behavior.” Alice laughed. “I’ll give you a pedicure and every- thing,” she promised. It wasn’t so bad, except for the fact that I was being 146 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 147 held against my will. Esme brought Italian food — the 1 good stuff, all the way from Port Angeles — and Alice 2 was prepared with my favorite movies. Even Rosalie was 3 there, quietly in the background. Alice did insist on the 4 pedicure, and I wondered if she was working from a list — 5 maybe something she’d compiled from watching bad 6 sitcoms. 7 8 “How late do you want to stay up?” she asked when my 9 toenails were glistening a bloody red. Her enthusiasm re- 10 mained untouched by my mood. 11 12 “I don’t want to stay up. We have school in the morning.” 13 She pouted. 14 “Where am I supposed to sleep, anyway?” I measured 15 the couch with my eyes. It was a little short. “Can’t you 16 just keep me under surveillance at my house?” 17 “What kind of a slumber party would that be?” Alice 18 shook her head in exasperation. “You’re sleeping in Ed- 19 ward’s room.” 20 I sighed. His black leather sofa was longer than this 21 one. Actually, the gold carpet in his room was probably 22 thick enough that the floor wouldn’t be half bad either. 23 “Can I go back to my place to get my things, at least?” 24 She grinned. “Already taken care of.” 25 “Am I allowed to use your phone?” 26 “Charlie knows where you are.” 27 “I wasn’t going to call Charlie.” I frowned. “Appar- 28 ently, I have some plans to cancel.” 29 sh “Oh.” She deliberated. “I’m not sure about that.” 30 reg “Alice!” I whined loudly. “C’mon!” “Okay, okay,” she said, flitting from the room. She was 147 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 148 1 back in half a second, cell phone in hand. “He didn’t specif- 2 ically prohibit this . . . ,” she murmured to herself as she 3 handed it to me. 4 5 I dialed Jacob’s number, hoping he wasn’t out running 6 with his friends tonight. Luck was with me — Jacob was 7 the one to answer. 8 9 “Hello?” 10 “Hey, Jake, it’s me.” Alice watched me with expres- 11 sionless eyes for a second, before she turned and went to sit 12 between Rosalie and Esme on the sofa. 13 “Hi, Bella,” Jacob said, suddenly cautious. “What’s up?” 14 “Nothing good. I can’t come over Saturday after all.” 15 It was silent for a minute. “Stupid bloodsucker,” he fi- 16 nally muttered. “I thought he was leaving. Can’t you have 17 a life when he’s gone? Or does he lock you in a coffin?” 18 I laughed. 19 “I don’t think that’s funny.” 20 “I’m only laughing because you’re close,” I told him. 21 “But he’s going to be here Saturday, so it doesn’t matter.” 22 “Will he be feeding there in Forks, then?” Jacob asked 23 cuttingly. 24 “No.” I didn’t let myself get irritated with him. I wasn’t 25 that far from being as angry as he was. “He left early.” 26 “Oh. Well, hey, come over now, then,” he said with 27 sudden enthusiasm. “It’s not that late. Or I’ll come up to 28 Charlie’s.” sh 29 “I wish. I’m not at Charlie’s,” I said sourly. “I’m kind of reg 30 being held prisoner.” He was silent as that sunk in, and then he growled. 148 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 149 “We’ll come and get you,” he promised in a flat voice, slip- 1 ping automatically into a plural. 2 3 A chill slid down my spine, but I answered in a light 4 and teasing voice. “Tempting. I have been tortured — 5 Alice painted my toenails.” 6 7 “I’m serious.” 8 “Don’t be. They’re just trying to keep me safe.” 9 He growled again. 10 “I know it’s silly, but their hearts are in the right 11 place.” 12 “Their hearts!” he scoffed. 13 “Sorry about Saturday,” I apologized. “I’ve got to hit 14 the sack” — the couch, I corrected mentally — “but I’ll 15 call you again soon.” 16 “Are you sure they’ll let you?” he asked in a scathing 17 tone. 18 “Not completely.” I sighed. “’Night, Jake.” 19 “See you around.” 20 Alice was abruptly at my side, her hand held out for 21 the phone, but I was already dialing. She saw the number. 22 “I don’t think he’ll have his phone on him,” she said. 23 “I’ll leave a message.” 24 The phone rang four times, followed by a beep. There 25 was no greeting. 26 “You are in trouble,” I said slowly, emphasizing each 27 word. “Enormous trouble. Angry grizzly bears are going 28 to look tame next to what is waiting for you at home.” 29 sh I snapped the phone shut and placed it in her waiting 30 reg hand. “I’m done.” 149 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 150 1 She grinned. “This hostage stuff is fun.” 2 “I’m going to sleep now,” I announced, heading for the 3 stairs. Alice tagged along. 4 “Alice,” I sighed. “I’m not going to sneak out. You 5 would know if I was planning to, and you’d catch me if I 6 tried.” 7 “I’m just going to show you where your things are,” 8 she said innocently. 9 Edward’s room was at the farthest end of the third floor 10 hallway, hard to mistake even when the huge house had 11 been less familiar. But when I switched the light on, I 12 paused in confusion. Had I picked the wrong door? 13 Alice giggled. 14 It was the same room, I realized quickly; the furniture 15 had just been rearranged. The couch was pushed to the 16 north wall and the stereo shoved up against the vast 17 shelves of CDs — to make room for the colossal bed that 18 now dominated the central space. 19 The southern wall of glass reflected the scene back like 20 a mirror, making it look twice as bad. 21 It matched. The coverlet was a dull gold, just lighter 22 than the walls; the frame was black, made of intricately 23 patterned wrought iron. Sculpted metal roses wound in 24 vines up the tall posts and formed a bowery lattice over- 25 head. My pajamas were folded neatly on the foot of the 26 bed, my bag of toiletries to one side. 27 “What the hell is all this?” I spluttered. 28 “You didn’t really think he would make you sleep on sh 29 the couch, did you?” reg 30 150 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 151 I mumbled unintelligibly as I stalked forward to snatch 1 my things off the bed. 2 3 “I’ll give you some privacy,” Alice laughed. “See you in 4 the morning.” 5 6 After my teeth were brushed and I was dressed, I 7 grabbed a puffy feather pillow off the huge bed and 8 dragged the gold cover to the couch. I knew I was being 9 silly, but I didn’t care. Porsches as bribes and king-sized 10 beds in houses where nobody slept — it was beyond irri- 11 tating. I flipped off the lights and curled up on the sofa, 12 wondering if I was too annoyed to sleep. 13 14 In the dark, the glass wall was no longer a black mirror, 15 doubling the room. The light of the moon brightened the 16 clouds outside the window. As my eyes adjusted, I could 17 see the diffused glow highlighting the tops of the trees, 18 and glinting off a small slice of the river. I watched the sil- 19 ver light, waiting for my eyes to get heavy. 20 21 There was a light knock on the door. 22 “What, Alice?” I hissed. I was on the defensive, imag- 23 ining her amusement when she saw my makeshift bed. 24 “It’s me,” Rosalie said softly, opening the door enough 25 that I could see the silver glow touch her perfect face. “Can 26 I come in?” 27 28 151 29 sh 30 reg 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 152 1 7. UNHAPPY ENDING 2 3 Rosalie hesitated in the doorway, her breathtak- 4 ing face unsure. 5 6 “Of course,” I replied, my voice an octave high with 7 surprise. “Come on in.” 8 9 I sat up, sliding to the end of the sofa to make room. 10 My stomach twisted nervously as the one Cullen who did 11 not like me moved silently to sit down in the open space. 12 I tried to come up with a reason why she would want to 13 see me, but my mind was a blank on that point. 14 15 “Do you mind talking to me for a few minutes?” she 16 asked. “I didn’t wake you or anything, did I?” Her eyes 17 shifted to the stripped bed and back to my couch. 18 19 152 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 sh 29 reg 30 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 153 “No, I was awake. Sure, we can talk.” I wondered if she 1 could hear the alarm in my voice as clearly as I could. 2 3 She laughed lightly, and it sounded like a chorus of 4 bells. “He so rarely leaves you alone,” she said. “I figured 5 I’d better make the best of this opportunity.” 6 7 What did she want to say that couldn’t be said in front 8 of Edward? My hands twisted and untwisted around the 9 edge of the comforter. 10 11 “Please don’t think I’m horribly interfering,” Rosalie 12 said, her voice gentle and almost pleading. She folded her 13 hands in her lap and looked down at them as she spoke. 14 “I’m sure I’ve hurt your feelings enough in the past, and I 15 don’t want to do that again.” 16 17 “Don’t worry about it, Rosalie. My feelings are great. 18 What is it?” 19 20 She laughed again, sounding oddly embarrassed. “I’m 21 going to try to tell you why I think you should stay hu- 22 man — why I would stay human if I were you.” 23 24 “Oh.” 25 She smiled at the shocked tone of my voice, and then 26 she sighed. 27 “Did Edward ever tell you what led to this?” she asked, 28 gesturing to her glorious immortal body. 29 sh I nodded slowly, suddenly somber. “He said it was close 30 reg to what happened to me that time in Port Angeles, only no one was there to save you.” I shuddered at the memory. “Is that really all he told you?” she asked. “Yes,” I said, my voice blank with confusion. “Was there more?” 153 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 154 1 She looked up at me and smiled; it was a harsh, 2 bitter — but still stunning — expression. 3 4 “Yes,” she said. “There was more.” 5 I waited while she stared out the window. She seemed 6 to be trying to calm herself. 7 “Would you like to hear my story, Bella? It doesn’t 8 have a happy ending — but which of ours does? If we had 9 happy endings, we’d all be under gravestones now.” 10 I nodded, though I was frightened by the edge in her 11 voice. 12 “I lived in a different world than you do, Bella. My hu- 13 man world was a much simpler place. It was nineteen 14 thirty-three. I was eighteen, and I was beautiful. My life 15 was perfect.” 16 She stared out the window at the silver clouds, her ex- 17 pression far away. 18 “My parents were thoroughly middle class. My father 19 had a stable job in a bank, something I realize now that he 20 was smug about — he saw his prosperity as a reward for 21 talent and hard work, rather than acknowledging the luck 22 involved. I took it all for granted then; in my home, it was 23 as if the Great Depression was only a troublesome rumor. 24 Of course I saw the poor people, the ones who weren’t as 25 lucky. My father left me with the impression that they’d 26 brought their troubles on themselves. 27 “It was my mother’s job to keep our house — and my- 28 self and my two younger brothers — in spotless order. It sh 29 was clear that I was both her first priority and her favorite. reg 30 I didn’t fully understand at the time, but I was always vaguely aware that my parents weren’t satisfied with what 154 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 155 they had, even if it was so much more than most. They 1 wanted more. They had social aspirations — social climb- 2 ers, I suppose you could call them. My beauty was like a 3 gift to them. They saw so much more potential in it than 4 I did. 5 6 “They weren’t satisfied, but I was. I was thrilled to be 7 me, to be Rosalie Hale. Pleased that men’s eyes watched 8 me everywhere I went, from the year I turned twelve. De- 9 lighted that my girlfriends sighed with envy when they 10 touched my hair. Happy that my mother was proud of me 11 and that my father liked to buy me pretty dresses. 12 13 “I knew what I wanted out of life, and there didn’t 14 seem to be any way that I wouldn’t get exactly what I 15 wanted. I wanted to be loved, to be adored. I wanted to 16 have a huge, flowery wedding, where everyone in town 17 would watch me walk down the aisle on my father’s arm 18 and think I was the most beautiful thing they’d ever 19 seen. Admiration was like air to me, Bella. I was silly and 20 shallow, but I was content.” She smiled, amused at her 21 own evaluation. 22 23 “My parents’ influence had been such that I also 24 wanted the material things of life. I wanted a big house 25 with elegant furnishings that someone else would clean 26 and a modern kitchen that someone else would cook in. As 27 I said, shallow. Young and very shallow. And I didn’t see 28 any reason why I wouldn’t get these things. 29 sh 30 reg “There were a few things I wanted that were more meaningful. One thing in particular. My very closest friend was a girl named Vera. She married young, just sev- enteen. She married a man my parents would never have 155 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 156 1 considered for me — a carpenter. A year later she had a 2 son, a beautiful little boy with dimples and curly black 3 hair. It was the first time I’d ever felt truly jealous of any- 4 one else in my entire life.” 5 6 She looked at me with unfathomable eyes. “It was a dif- 7 ferent time. I was the same age as you, but I was ready for 8 it all. I yearned for my own little baby. I wanted my own 9 house and a husband who would kiss me when he got 10 home from work — just like Vera. Only I had a very dif- 11 ferent kind of house in mind. . . .” 12 13 It was hard for me to imagine the world that Rosalie 14 had known. Her story sounded more like a fairy tale than 15 history to me. With a slight shock, I realized that this was 16 very close to the world that Edward would have experi- 17 enced when he was human, the world he had grown up in. 18 I wondered — while Rosalie sat silent for a moment — if 19 my world seemed as baffling to him as Rosalie’s did to me? 20 21 Rosalie sighed, and when she spoke again her voice was 22 different, the wistfulness gone. 23 24 “In Rochester, there was one royal family — the Kings, 25 ironically enough. Royce King owned the bank my father 26 worked at, and nearly every other really profitable business 27 in town. That’s how his son, Royce King the Second” — 28 her mouth twisted around the name, it came out through sh 29 her teeth — “saw me the first time. He was going to take reg 30 over at the bank, and so he began overseeing the different positions. Two days later, my mother conveniently forgot to send my father’s lunch to work with him. I remember being confused when she insisted that I wear my white 156 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 157 organza and roll my hair up just to run over to the bank.” 1 Rosalie laughed without humor. 2 3 “I didn’t notice Royce watching me particularly. Every- 4 one watched me. But that night the first of the roses came. 5 Every night of our courtship, he sent a bouquet of roses to 6 me. My room was always overflowing with them. It got to 7 the point that I would smell like roses when I left the house. 8 9 “Royce was handsome, too. He had lighter hair than I 10 did, and pale blue eyes. He said my eyes were like violets, 11 and then those started showing up alongside the roses. 12 13 “My parents approved — that’s putting it mildly. This 14 was everything they’d dreamed of. And Royce seemed to 15 be everything I’d dreamed of. The fairy tale prince, come 16 to make me a princess. Everything I wanted, yet it was 17 still no more than I expected. We were engaged before I’d 18 known him for two months. 19 20 “We didn’t spend a great deal of time alone with each 21 other. Royce told me he had many responsibilities at 22 work, and, when we were together, he liked people to look 23 at us, to see me on his arm. I liked that, too. There were 24 lots of parties, dancing, and pretty dresses. When you 25 were a King, every door was open for you, every red carpet 26 rolled out to greet you. 27 28 “It wasn’t a long engagement. Plans went ahead for the 29 sh most lavish wedding. It was going to be everything I’d 30 reg ever wanted. I was completely happy. When I called at Vera’s, I no longer felt jealous. I pictured my fair-haired children playing on the huge lawns of the Kings’ estate, and I pitied her.” 157 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 158 1 Rosalie broke off suddenly, clenching her teeth to- 2 gether. It pulled me out of her story, and I realized that the 3 horror was not far off. There would be no happy ending, as 4 she’d promised. I wondered if this was why she had so much 5 more bitterness in her than the rest of them — because 6 she’d been within reach of everything she’d wanted when 7 her human life was cut short. 8 9 “I was at Vera’s that night,” Rosalie whispered. Her 10 face was smooth as marble, and as hard. “Her little Henry 11 really was adorable, all smiles and dimples — he was just 12 sitting up on his own. Vera walked me to the door as I was 13 leaving, her baby in her arms and her husband at her side, 14 his arm around her waist. He kissed her on the cheek when 15 he thought I wasn’t looking. That bothered me. When 16 Royce kissed me, it wasn’t quite the same — not so sweet 17 somehow. . . . I shoved that thought aside. Royce was my 18 prince. Someday, I would be queen.” 19 20 It was hard to tell in the moonlight, but it looked like 21 her bone white face got paler. 22 23 “It was dark in the streets, the lamps already on. I 24 hadn’t realized how late it was.” She continued to whisper 25 almost inaudibly. “It was cold, too. Very cold for late 26 April. The wedding was only a week away, and I was wor- 27 rying about the weather as I hurried home — I can re- 28 member that clearly. I remember every detail about that sh 29 night. I clung to it so hard . . . in the beginning. I reg 30 thought of nothing else. And so I remember this, when so many pleasant memories have faded away completely. . . .” She sighed, and began whispering again. “Yes, I was 158 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 159 worrying about the weather. . . . I didn’t want to have to 1 move the wedding indoors. . . . 2 3 “I was a few streets from my house when I heard them. 4 A cluster of men under a broken streetlamp, laughing too 5 loud. Drunk. I wished I’d called my father to escort me 6 home, but the way was so short, it seemed silly. And then 7 he called my name. 8 9 “‘Rose!’ he yelled, and the others laughed stupidly. 10 “I hadn’t realized the drunks were so well dressed. It 11 was Royce and some of his friends, sons of other rich men. 12 “‘Here’s my Rose!’ Royce shouted, laughing with 13 them, sounding just as stupid. ‘You’re late. We’re cold, 14 you’ve kept us waiting so long.’” 15 “I’d never seen him drink before. A toast, now and then, 16 at a party. He’d told me he didn’t like champagne. I hadn’t 17 realized that he preferred something much stronger. 18 “He had a new friend — the friend of a friend, come up 19 from Atlanta. 20 “‘What did I tell you, John,’ Royce crowed, grabbing 21 my arm and pulling me closer. ‘Isn’t she lovelier than all 22 your Georgia peaches?’ 23 “The man named John was dark-haired and suntanned. 24 He looked me over like I was a horse he was buying. 25 “‘It’s hard to tell,’ he drawled slowly. ‘She’s all cov- 26 ered up.’ 27 “They laughed, Royce like the rest. 28 “Suddenly, Royce ripped my jacket from my shoul- 29 sh ders — it was a gift from him — popping the brass but- 30 reg tons off. They scattered all over the street. 159 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 160 1 “‘Show him what you look like, Rose!’ He laughed 2 again and then he tore my hat out of my hair. The pins 3 wrenched my hair from the roots, and I cried out in pain. 4 They seemed to enjoy that — the sound of my pain. . . .” 5 6 Rosalie looked at me suddenly, as if she’d forgotten I 7 was there. I was sure my face was as white as hers. Unless 8 it was green. 9 10 “I won’t make you listen to the rest,” she said quietly. 11 “They left me in the street, still laughing as they stumbled 12 away. They thought I was dead. They were teasing Royce 13 that he would have to find a new bride. He laughed and 14 said he’d have to learn some patience first. 15 16 “I waited in the road to die. It was cold, though there 17 was so much pain that I was surprised it bothered me. It 18 started to snow, and I wondered why I wasn’t dying. I was 19 impatient for death to come, to end the pain. It was tak- 20 ing so long. . . . 21 22 “Carlisle found me then. He’d smelled the blood, and 23 come to investigate. I remember being vaguely irritated as 24 he worked over me, trying to save my life. I’d never liked 25 Dr. Cullen or his wife and her brother — as Edward pre- 26 tended to be then. It had upset me that they were all more 27 beautiful than I was, especially that the men were. But 28 they didn’t mingle in society, so I’d only seen them once sh 29 or twice. reg 30 “I thought I’d died when he pulled me from the ground and ran with me — because of the speed — it felt like I was flying. I remembered being horrified that the pain didn’t stop. . . . “Then I was in a bright room, and it was warm. I was 160 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 161 slipping away, and I was grateful as the pain began to dull. 1 But suddenly something sharp was cutting me, my throat, 2 my wrists, my ankles. I screamed in shock, thinking he’d 3 brought me there to hurt me more. Then fire started burn- 4 ing through me, and I didn’t care about anything else. I 5 begged him to kill me. When Esme and Edward returned 6 home, I begged them to kill me, too. Carlisle sat with me. 7 He held my hand and said that he was so sorry, promising 8 that it would end. He told me everything, and sometimes 9 I listened. He told me what he was, what I was becoming. 10 I didn’t believe him. He apologized each time I screamed. 11 12 “Edward wasn’t happy. I remember hearing them dis- 13 cuss me. I stopped screaming sometimes. It did no good to 14 scream. 15 16 “‘What were you thinking, Carlisle?’ Edward said. 17 ‘Rosalie Hale?’” Rosalie imitated Edward’s irritated tone 18 to perfection. “I didn’t like the way he said my name, like 19 there was something wrong with me. 20 21 “‘I couldn’t just let her die,’ Carlisle said quietly. ‘It 22 was too much — too horrible, too much waste.’ 23 24 “‘I know,’ Edward said, and I thought he sounded dis- 25 missive. It angered me. I didn’t know then that he really 26 could see exactly what Carlisle had seen. 27 28 “‘It was too much waste. I couldn’t leave her,’ Carlisle 29 sh repeated in a whisper. 30 reg “‘Of course you couldn’t,’ Esme agreed. “‘People die all the time,’ Edward reminded him in a hard voice. ‘Don’t you think she’s just a little recog- nizable, though? The Kings will have to put up a huge search — not that anyone suspects the fiend,’ he growled. 161 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 162 1 “It pleased me that they seemed to know that Royce 2 was guilty. 3 4 “I didn’t realize that it was almost over — that I was 5 getting stronger and that was why I was able to concen- 6 trate on what they were saying. The pain was beginning to 7 fade from my fingertips. 8 9 “‘What are we going to do with her?’ Edward said dis- 10 gustedly — or that’s how it sounded to me, at least. 11 12 “Carlisle sighed. ‘That’s up to her, of course. She may 13 want to go her own way.’ 14 15 “I’d believed enough of what he’d told me that his 16 words terrified me. I knew that my life was ended, and 17 there was no going back for me. I couldn’t stand the 18 thought of being alone. . . . 19 20 “The pain finally ended and they explained to me again 21 what I was. This time I believed. I felt the thirst, my hard 22 skin; I saw my brilliant red eyes. 23 24 “Shallow as I was, I felt better when I saw my reflection 25 in the mirror the first time. Despite the eyes, I was the 26 most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.” She laughed at herself 27 for a moment. “It took some time before I began to blame 28 the beauty for what had happened to me — for me to see sh 29 the curse of it. To wish that I had been . . . well, not ugly, reg 30 but normal. Like Vera. So I could have been allowed to marry someone who loved me, and have pretty babies. That’s what I’d really wanted, all along. It still doesn’t seem like too much to have asked for.” She was thoughtful for a moment, and I wondered if she’d forgotten my presence again. But then she smiled at me, her expression suddenly triumphant. 162 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 163 “You know, my record is almost as clean as Carlisle’s,” 1 she told me. “Better than Esme. A thousand times better 2 than Edward. I’ve never tasted human blood,” she an- 3 nounced proudly. 4 5 She understood my puzzled expression as I wondered 6 why her record was only almost as clean. 7 8 “I did murder five humans,” she told me in a compla- 9 cent tone. “If you can really call them human. But I was 10 very careful not to spill their blood — I knew I wouldn’t 11 be able to resist that, and I didn’t want any part of them in 12 me, you see. 13 14 “I saved Royce for last. I hoped that he would hear of 15 his friends’ deaths and understand, know what was com- 16 ing for him. I hoped the fear would make the end worse 17 for him. I think it worked. He was hiding inside a win- 18 dowless room behind a door as thick as a bank vault’s, 19 guarded outside by armed men, when I caught up with 20 him. Oops — seven murders,” she corrected herself. “I 21 forgot about his guards. They only took a second.” 22 23 “I was overly theatrical. It was kind of childish, really. 24 I wore a wedding dress I’d stolen for the occasion. He 25 screamed when he saw me. He screamed a lot that night. 26 Saving him for last was a good idea — it made it easier for 27 me to control myself, to make it slower —” 28 29 sh She broke off suddenly, and she glanced down at me. 30 reg “I’m sorry,” she said in a chagrined voice. “I’m frightening you, aren’t I?” “I’m fine,” I lied. “I got carried away.” “Don’t worry about it.” 163 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 164 1 “I’m surprised Edward didn’t tell you more about it.” 2 “He doesn’t like to tell other people’s stories — he feels 3 like he’s betraying confidences, because he hears so much 4 more than just the parts they mean for him to hear.” 5 She smiled and shook her head. “I probably ought to 6 give him more credit. He’s really quite decent, isn’t he?” 7 “I think so.” 8 “I can tell.” Then she sighed. “I haven’t been fair to 9 you, either, Bella. Did he tell you why? Or was that too 10 confidential?” 11 “He said it was because I was human. He said it was 12 harder for you to have someone on the outside who knew.” 13 Rosalie’s musical laughter interrupted me. “Now I really 14 feel guilty. He’s been much, much kinder to me than I de- 15 serve.” She seemed warmer as she laughed, like she’d let 16 down some guard that had never been absent in my pres- 17 ence before. “What a liar that boy is.” She laughed again. 18 “He was lying?” I asked, suddenly wary. 19 “Well, that’s probably putting it too strongly. He just 20 didn’t tell you the whole story. What he told you was true, 21 even truer now than it was before. However, at the 22 time . . .” She broke off, chuckling nervously. “It’s embar- 23 rassing. You see, at first, I was mostly jealous because he 24 wanted you and not me.” 25 Her words sent a thrill of fear through me. Sitting there 26 in the silver light, she was more beautiful than anything 27 else I could imagine. I could not compete with Rosalie. 28 “But you love Emmett . . . ,” I mumbled. sh 29 She shook her head back and forth, amused. “I don’t reg 30 164 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 165 want Edward that way, Bella. I never did — I love him as 1 a brother, but he’s irritated me from the first moment I 2 heard him speak. You have to understand, though . . . I 3 was so used to people wanting me. And Edward wasn’t the 4 least bit interested. It frustrated me, even offended me in 5 the beginning. But he never wanted anyone, so it didn’t 6 bother me long. Even when we first met Tanya’s clan in 7 Denali — all those females! — Edward never showed the 8 slightest preference. And then he met you.” She looked at 9 me with confused eyes. I was only half paying attention. I 10 was thinking about Edward and Tanya and all those females, 11 and my lips pressed together in a hard line. 12 13 “Not that you aren’t pretty, Bella,” she said, misread- 14 ing my expression. “But it just meant that he found you 15 more attractive than me. I’m vain enough that I minded.” 16 17 “But you said ‘at first.’ That doesn’t still . . . bother 18 you, does it? I mean, we both know you’re the most beau- 19 tiful person on the planet.” 20 21 I laughed at having to say the words — it was so obvi- 22 ous. How odd that Rosalie should need such reassurances. 23 24 Rosalie laughed, too. “Thanks, Bella. And no, it 25 doesn’t really bother me anymore. Edward has always been 26 a little strange.” She laughed again. 27 28 “But you still don’t like me,” I whispered. 29 sh Her smile faded. “I’m sorry about that.” 30 reg We sat in silence for a moment, and she didn’t seem in- clined to go on. “Would you tell me why? Did I do something . . . ?” Was she angry that I’d put her family — her Emmett — 165 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 166 1 in danger? Time and time again. James, and now Vic- 2 toria . . . 3 4 “No, you haven’t done anything,” she murmured. 5 “Not yet.” 6 7 I stared at her, perplexed. 8 “Don’t you see, Bella?” Her voice was suddenly more 9 passionate than before, even while she’d told her unhappy 10 story. “You already have everything. You have a whole life 11 ahead of you — everything I want. And you’re going to 12 just throw it away. Can’t you see that I’d trade everything 13 I have to be you? You have the choice that I didn’t have, 14 and you’re choosing wrong!” 15 I flinched back from her fierce expression. I realized my 16 mouth had fallen open and I snapped it shut. 17 She stared at me for a long moment and, slowly, the fer- 18 vor in her eyes dimmed. Abruptly, she was abashed. 19 “And I was so sure that I could do this calmly.” She 20 shook her head, seeming a little dazed by the flood of emo- 21 tion. “It’s just that it’s harder now than it was then, when 22 it was no more than vanity.” 23 She stared at the moon in silence. It was a few moments 24 before I was brave enough to break into her reverie. 25 “Would you like me better if I chose to stay human?” 26 She turned back to me, her lips twitching into a hint of 27 a smile. “Maybe.” 28 “You did get some of your happy ending, though,” I re- sh 29 minded her. “You got Emmett.” reg 30 “I got half.” She grinned. “You know that I saved Em- mett from a bear that was mauling him, and carried him 166 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 167 home to Carlisle. But can you guess why I stopped the 1 bear from eating him?” 2 3 I shook my head. 4 “With the dark curls . . . the dimples that showed even 5 while he was grimacing in pain . . . the strange innocence 6 that seemed so out of place on a grown man’s face . . . he 7 reminded me of Vera’s little Henry. I didn’t want him to 8 die — so much that, even though I hated this life, I was 9 selfish enough to ask Carlisle to change him for me. 10 “I got luckier than I deserved. Emmett is everything I 11 would have asked for if I’d known myself well enough to 12 know what to ask for. He’s exactly the kind of person 13 someone like me needs. And, oddly enough, he needs me, 14 too. That part worked out better than I could have hoped. 15 But there will never be more than the two of us. And I’ll 16 never sit on a porch somewhere, with him gray-haired by 17 my side, surrounded by our grandchildren.” 18 Her smile was kind now. “That sounds quite bizarre to 19 you, doesn’t it? In some ways, you are much more mature 20 than I was at eighteen. But in other ways . . . there are 21 many things you’ve probably never thought about seri- 22 ously. You’re too young to know what you’ll want in ten 23 years, fifteen years — and too young to give it all up with- 24 out thinking it through. You don’t want to be rash about 25 permanent things, Bella.” She patted my head, but the 26 gesture didn’t feel condescending. 27 I sighed. 28 “Just think about it a little. Once it’s done, it can’t be 29 sh undone. Esme’s made do with us as substitutes . . . and 30 reg 167 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 168 1 Alice doesn’t remember anything human so she can’t miss 2 it. . . . You will remember, though. It’s a lot to give up.” 3 4 But more to get in return, I didn’t say aloud. “Thanks, 5 Rosalie. It’s nice to understand . . . to know you better.” 6 7 “I apologize for being such a monster.” She grinned. 8 “I’ll try to behave myself from now on.” 9 10 I grinned back at her. 11 We weren’t friends yet, but I was pretty sure she 12 wouldn’t always hate me so much. 13 “I’ll let you sleep now.” Rosalie’s eyes flickered to the 14 bed, and her lips twitched. “I know you’re frustrated that 15 he’s keeping you locked up like this, but don’t give him 16 too bad a time when he gets back. He loves you more than 17 you know. It terrifies him to be away from you.” She got 18 up silently and ghosted to the door. “Goodnight, Bella,” 19 she whispered as she shut it behind herself. 20 “Goodnight, Rosalie,” I murmured a second too late. 21 It took me a long time to fall asleep after that. 22 When I did sleep, I had a nightmare. I was crawling 23 across the dark, cold stones of an unfamiliar street, under 24 lightly falling snow, leaving a trail of blood smeared be- 25 hind me. A shadowy angel in a long white dress watched 26 my progress with resentful eyes. 27 The next morning, Alice drove me to school while I 28 stared grumpily out the windshield. I was feeling sleep- sh 29 deprived, and it made the irritation of my imprisonment reg 30 that much stronger. “Tonight we’ll go out to Olympia or something,” she promised. “That would be fun, right?” 168 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 169 “Why don’t you just lock me in the basement,” I sug- 1 gested, “and forget the sugar coating?” 2 3 Alice frowned. “He’s going to take the Porsche back. 4 I’m not doing a very good job. You’re supposed to be hav- 5 ing fun.” 6 7 “It’s not your fault,” I muttered. I couldn’t believe I ac- 8 tually felt guilty. “I’ll see you at lunch.” 9 10 I trudged off to English. Without Edward, the day was 11 guaranteed to be unbearable. I sulked through my first 12 class, well aware that my attitude wasn’t helping any- 13 thing. 14 15 When the bell rang, I got up without much enthusi- 16 asm. Mike was there at the door, holding it open for me. 17 18 “Edward hiking this weekend?” he asked sociably as we 19 walked out into the light rain. 20 21 “Yeah.” 22 “You want to do something tonight?” 23 How could he still sound hopeful? 24 “Can’t. I’ve got a slumber party,” I grumbled. He gave 25 me a strange look as he processed my mood. 26 “Who are you —” 27 Mike’s question was cut short as a loud, growling roar 28 erupted from behind us in the parking lot. Everyone on 29 sh the sidewalk turned to look, staring in disbelief as the 30 reg noisy black motorcycle screeched to a stop on the edge of the concrete, the engine still snarling. Jacob waved to me urgently. “Run, Bella!” he yelled over the engine’s roar. I was frozen for a second before I understood. 169 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 170 1 I looked at Mike quickly. I knew I only had seconds. 2 How far would Alice go to restrain me in public? 3 “I got really sick and went home, okay?” I said to Mike, 4 my voice filled with sudden excitement. 5 “Fine,” he muttered. 6 I pecked Mike swiftly on the cheek. “Thanks, Mike. I 7 owe you one!” I called as I sprinted away. 8 Jacob revved his engine, grinning. I jumped on the 9 back of his seat, wrapping my arms tightly around his 10 waist. 11 I caught sight of Alice, frozen at the edge of the cafete- 12 ria, her eyes sparking with fury, her lip curled back over 13 her teeth. 14 I shot her one pleading glance. 15 Then we were racing across the blacktop so fast that 16 my stomach got lost somewhere behind me. 17 “Hold on,” Jacob shouted. 18 I hid my face in his back as he sped down the highway. 19 I knew he would slow down when we hit the Quileute 20 border. I just had to hold on till then. I prayed silently and 21 fervently that Alice wouldn’t follow, and that Charlie 22 wouldn’t happen to see me. . . . 23 It was obvious when we had reached the safe zone. The 24 bike slowed, and Jacob straightened up and howled with 25 laughter. I opened my eyes. 26 “We made it,” he shouted. “Not bad for a prison 27 break, eh?” 28 “Good thinking, Jake.” sh 29 “I remembered what you said about the psychic leech reg 30 not being about to predict what I’m going to do. I’m glad 170 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 171 you didn’t think of this — she wouldn’t have let you go to 1 school.” 2 3 “That’s why I didn’t consider it.” 4 He laughed triumphantly. “What do you want to do 5 today?” 6 “Anything!” I laughed back. It felt great to be free. 7 8 171 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 sh 30 reg 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 172 1 8. TEMPER 2 3 We ended up on the beach again, wandering aim- 4 lessly. Jacob was still full of himself for engineering my 5 escape. 6 7 “Do you think they’ll come looking for you?” he asked, 8 sounding hopeful. 9 10 “No.” I was certain about that. “They’re going to be fu- 11 rious with me tonight, though.” 12 13 He picked up a rock and chucked it into the waves. 14 “Don’t go back, then,” he suggested again. 15 16 “Charlie would love that,” I said sarcastically. 17 “I bet he wouldn’t mind.” 18 I didn’t answer. Jacob was probably right, and that 19 20 172 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 sh 29 reg 30 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 173 made me grind my teeth together. Charlie’s blatant pref- 1 erence for my Quileute friends was so unfair. I wondered if 2 he would feel the same if he knew the choice was really be- 3 tween vampires and werewolves. 4 5 “So what’s the latest pack scandal?” I asked lightly. 6 Jacob skidded to a halt, and he stared down at me with 7 shocked eyes. 8 “What? That was a joke.” 9 “Oh.” He looked away. 10 I waited for him to start walking again, but he seemed 11 lost in thought. 12 “Is there a scandal?” I wondered. 13 Jacob chuckled once. “I forget what it’s like, not having 14 everyone know everything all the time. Having a quiet, 15 private place inside my head.” 16 We walked along the stony beach quietly for a few 17 minutes. 18 “So what is it?” I finally asked. “That everyone in your 19 head already knows?” 20 He hesitated for a moment, as if he weren’t sure how 21 much he was going to tell me. Then he sighed and said, 22 “Quil imprinted. That’s three now. The rest of us are start- 23 ing to get worried. Maybe it’s more common than the sto- 24 ries say. . . .” He frowned, and then turned to stare at me. 25 He gazed into my eyes without speaking, his eyebrows fur- 26 rowed in concentration. 27 “What are you staring at?” I asked, feeling self-conscious. 28 He sighed. “Nothing.” 29 sh Jacob started walking again. Without seeming to think 30 reg 173 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 174 1 about it, he reached out and took my hand. We paced 2 silently across the rocks. 3 4 I thought of how we must look walking hand and hand 5 down the beach — like a couple, certainly — and won- 6 dered if I should object. But this was the way it had always 7 been with Jacob. . . . No reason to get worked up about 8 it now. 9 10 “Why is Quil’s imprinting such a scandal?” I asked 11 when it didn’t look like he was going to go on. “Is it be- 12 cause he’s the newest one?” 13 14 “That doesn’t have anything to do with it.” 15 “Then what’s the problem?” 16 “It’s another one of those legend things. I wonder when 17 we’re going to stop being surprised that they’re all true?” 18 he muttered to himself. 19 “Are you going to tell me? Or do I have to guess?” 20 “You’d never get it right. See, Quil hasn’t been hang- 21 ing out with us, you know, until just recently. So he hadn’t 22 been around Emily’s place much.” 23 “Quil imprinted on Emily, too?” I gasped. 24 “No! I told you not to guess. Emily had her two nieces 25 down for a visit . . . and Quil met Claire.” 26 He didn’t continue. I thought about that for a moment. 27 “Emily doesn’t want her niece with a werewolf? That’s 28 a little hypocritical,” I said. sh 29 But I could understand why she of all people might reg 30 feel that way. I thought again of the long scars that marred her face and extended all the way down her right arm. Sam had lost control just once when he was standing too close 174 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 175 to her. Once was all it took. . . . I’d seen the pain in Sam’s 1 eyes when he looked at what he’d done to Emily. I could 2 understand why Emily might want to protect her niece 3 from that. 4 5 “Would you please stop guessing? You’re way off. 6 Emily doesn’t mind that part, it’s just, well, a little early.” 7 8 “What do you mean early?” 9 Jacob appraised me with narrowed eyes. “Try not to be 10 judgmental, okay?” 11 I nodded cautiously. 12 “Claire is two,” Jacob told me. 13 Rain started to fall. I blinked furiously as the drops 14 pelted my face. 15 Jacob waited in silence. He wore no jacket, as usual; 16 the rain left a spatter of dark spots on his black T-shirt, 17 and dripped through his shaggy hair. His face was expres- 18 sionless as he watched mine. 19 “Quil . . . imprinted . . . with a two-year-old?” I was fi- 20 nally able to ask. 21 “It happens.” Jacob shrugged. He bent to grab another 22 rock and sent it flying out into the bay. “Or so the stor- 23 ies say.” 24 “But she’s a baby,” I protested. 25 He looked at me with dark amusement. “Quil’s not 26 getting any older,” he reminded me, a bit of acid in his 27 tone. “He’ll just have to be patient for a few decades.” 28 “I . . . don’t know what to say.” 29 sh I was trying my hardest not to be critical, but, in truth, 30 reg I was horrified. Until now, nothing about the werewolves 175 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 176 1 had bothered me since the day I’d found out they weren’t 2 committing the murders I’d suspected them of. 3 4 “You’re making judgments,” he accused. “I can see it 5 on your face.” 6 7 “Sorry,” I muttered. “But it sounds really creepy.” 8 “It’s not like that; you’ve got it all wrong,” Jacob de- 9 fended his friend, suddenly vehement. “I’ve seen what it’s 10 like, through his eyes. There’s nothing romantic about it at 11 all, not for Quil, not now.” He took a deep breath, frus- 12 trated. “It’s so hard to describe. It’s not like love at first 13 sight, really. It’s more like . . . gravity moves. When you 14 see her, suddenly it’s not the earth holding you here any- 15 more. She does. And nothing matters more than her. And 16 you would do anything for her, be anything for her. . . . 17 You become whatever she needs you to be, whether that’s 18 a protector, or a lover, or a friend, or a brother. 19 “Quil will be the best, kindest big brother any kid 20 ever had. There isn’t a toddler on the planet that will 21 be more carefully looked after than that little girl will be. 22 And then, when she’s older and needs a friend, he’ll be 23 more understanding, trustworthy, and reliable than any- 24 one else she knows. And then, when she’s grown up, 25 they’ll be as happy as Emily and Sam.” A strange, bitter 26 edge sharpened his tone at the very end, when he spoke 27 of Sam. 28 “Doesn’t Claire get a choice here?” sh 29 “Of course. But why wouldn’t she choose him, in the reg 30 end? He’ll be her perfect match. Like he was designed for her alone.” We walked in silence for a moment, till I paused to toss 176 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 177 a rock toward the ocean. It fell to the beach several meters 1 short. Jacob laughed at me. 2 3 “We can’t all be freakishly strong,” I muttered. 4 He sighed. 5 “When do you think it will happen for you?” I asked 6 quietly. 7 His answer was flat and immediate. “Never.” 8 “It’s not something you can control, is it?” 9 He was silent for a few minutes. Unconsciously, we 10 both walked slower, barely moving at all. 11 “It’s not supposed to be,” he admitted. “But you have 12 to see her — the one that’s supposedly meant for you.” 13 “And you think that if you haven’t seen her yet, then 14 she’s not out there?” I asked skeptically. “Jacob, you haven’t 15 really seen much of the world — less than me, even.” 16 “No, I haven’t,” he said in a low voice. He looked at my 17 face with suddenly piercing eyes. “But I’ll never see any- 18 one else, Bella. I only see you. Even when I close my eyes 19 and try to see something else. Ask Quil or Embry. It drives 20 them all crazy.” 21 I dropped my eyes to the rocks. 22 We weren’t walking anymore. The only sound was of 23 the waves beating against the shore. I couldn’t hear the 24 rain over their roar. 25 “Maybe I’d better go home,” I whispered. 26 “No!” he protested, surprised by this conclusion. 27 I looked up at him again, and his eyes were anxious now. 28 “You have the whole day off, right? The bloodsucker 29 sh won’t be home yet.” 30 reg I glared at him. 177 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 178 1 “No offense intended,” he said quickly. 2 “Yes, I have the whole day. But, Jake . . .” 3 He held up his hands. “Sorry,” he apologized. “I won’t 4 be like that anymore. I’ll just be Jacob.” 5 I sighed. “But if that’s what you’re thinking . . .” 6 “Don’t worry about me,” he insisted, smiling with de- 7 liberate cheer, too brightly. “I know what I’m doing. Just 8 tell me if I’m upsetting you.” 9 “I don’t know. . . .” 10 “C’mon, Bella. Let’s go back to the house and get our 11 bikes. You’ve got to ride a motorcycle regularly to keep it 12 in tune.” 13 “I really don’t think I’m allowed.” 14 “By who? Charlie or the blood — or him?” 15 “Both.” 16 Jacob grinned my grin, and he was suddenly the Jacob 17 I missed the most, sunny and warm. 18 I couldn’t help grinning back. 19 The rain softened, turned to mist. 20 “I won’t tell anyone,” he promised. 21 “Except every one of your friends.” 22 He shook his head soberly and raised his right hand. “I 23 promise not to think about it.” 24 I laughed. “If I get hurt, it was because I tripped.” 25 “Whatever you say.” 26 We rode our motorcycles on the back roads around La 27 Push until the rain made them too muddy and Jacob in- 28 sisted that he was going to pass out if he didn’t eat soon. sh 29 Billy greeted me easily when we got to the house, as if my reg 30 178 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 179 sudden reappearance meant nothing more complicated 1 than that I’d wanted to spend the day with my friend. Af- 2 ter we ate the sandwiches Jacob made, we went out to the 3 garage and I helped him clean up the bikes. I hadn’t been 4 here in months — since Edward had returned — but there 5 was no sense of import to it. It was just another afternoon 6 in the garage. 7 8 “This is nice,” I commented when he pulled the warm 9 sodas from the grocery bag. “I’ve missed this place.” 10 11 He smiled, looking around at the plastic sheds bolted 12 together over our heads. “Yeah, I can understand that. All 13 the splendor of the Taj Mahal, without the inconvenience 14 and expense of traveling to India.” 15 16 “To Washington’s little Taj Mahal,” I toasted, holding 17 up my can. 18 19 He touched his can to mine. 20 “Do you remember last Valentine’s Day? I think that 21 was the last time you were here — the last time when things 22 were still . . . normal, I mean.” 23 I laughed. “Of course I remember. I traded a lifetime of 24 servitude for a box of conversation hearts. That’s not some- 25 thing I’m likely to forget.” 26 He laughed with me. “That’s right. Hmm, servitude. 27 I’ll have to think of something good.” Then he sighed. “It 28 feels like it was years ago. Another era. A happier one.” 29 sh I couldn’t agree with him. This was my happy era now. 30 reg But I was surprised to realize how many things I missed from my own personal dark ages. I stared through the opening at the murky forest. The rain had picked up 179 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 180 1 again, but it was warm in the little garage, sitting next to 2 Jacob. He was as good as a furnace. 3 4 His fingers brushed my hand. “Things have really 5 changed.” 6 7 “Yeah,” I said, and then I reached out and patted the 8 back tire of my bike. “Charlie used to like me. I hope Billy 9 doesn’t say anything about today. . . .” I bit my lip. 10 11 “He won’t. He doesn’t get worked up about things the 12 way Charlie does. Hey, I never did apologize officially for 13 that stupid move with the bike. I’m real sorry about rat- 14 ting you out to Charlie. I wish I hadn’t.” 15 16 I rolled my eyes. “Me, too.” 17 “I’m really, really sorry.” 18 He looked at me hopefully, his wet, tangled black hair 19 sticking up in every direction around his pleading face. 20 “Oh, fine! You’re forgiven.” 21 “Thanks, Bells!” 22 We grinned at each other for a second, and then his face 23 clouded over. 24 “You know that day, when I brought the bike over . . . 25 I’ve been wanting to ask you something,” he said slowly. 26 “But also . . . not wanting to.” 27 I held very still — a reaction to stress. It was a habit I’d 28 picked up from Edward. sh 29 “Were you just being stubborn because you were mad reg 30 at me, or were you really serious?” he whispered. “About what?” I whispered back, though I was sure I knew what he meant. He glared at me. “You know. When you said it was 180 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 181 none of my business . . . if — if he bit you.” He cringed 1 visibly at the end. 2 3 “Jake . . .” My throat felt swollen. I couldn’t finish. 4 He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Were you 5 serious?” 6 He was trembling just slightly. His eyes stayed closed. 7 “Yes,” I whispered. 8 Jacob inhaled, slow and deep. “I guess I knew that.” 9 I stared at his face, waiting for his eyes to open. 10 “You know what this will mean?” He demanded sud- 11 denly. “You do understand that, don’t you? What will 12 happen if they break the treaty?” 13 “We’ll leave first,” I said in a small voice. 14 His eyes flashed open, their black depths full of anger 15 and pain. “There wasn’t a geographic limit to the treaty, 16 Bella. Our great-grandfathers only agreed to keep the 17 peace because the Cullens swore that they were different, 18 that humans weren’t in danger from them. They promised 19 they would never kill or change anyone ever again. If they 20 go back on their word, the treaty is meaningless, and they 21 are no different than any other vampires. Once that’s es- 22 tablished, when we find them again —” 23 “But, Jake, didn’t you break the treaty already?” I 24 asked, grasping at straws. “Wasn’t part of it that you not 25 tell people about the vampires? And you told me. So isn’t 26 the treaty sort of moot, anyhow?” 27 Jacob didn’t like the reminder; the pain in his eyes 28 hardened into animosity. “Yeah, I broke the treaty — back 29 sh before I believed any of it. And I’m sure they were informed 30 reg 181 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 182 1 of that.” He glared sourly at my forehead, not meeting my 2 shamed gaze. “But it’s not like that gives them a freebie 3 or anything. There’s no fault for a fault. They have only 4 one option if they object to what I did. The same option 5 we’ll have when they break the treaty: to attack. To start 6 the war.” 7 8 He made it sound so inevitable. I shuddered. 9 “Jake, it doesn’t have to be that way.” 10 His teeth ground together. “It is that way.” 11 The silence after his declaration felt very loud. 12 “Will you never forgive me, Jacob?” I whispered. As 13 soon as I said the words, I wished I hadn’t. I didn’t want to 14 hear his answer. 15 “You won’t be Bella anymore,” he told me. “My friend 16 won’t exist. There’ll be no one to forgive.” 17 “That sounds like a no,” I whispered. 18 We faced each other for an endless moment. 19 “Is this goodbye then, Jake?” 20 He blinked rapidly, his fierce expression melting in 21 surprise. “Why? We still have a few years. Can’t we be 22 friends until we’re out of time?” 23 “Years? No, Jake, not years.” I shook my head, and 24 laughed once without humor. “Weeks is more accurate.” 25 I was not expecting his reaction. 26 He was suddenly on his feet, and there was a loud pop as 27 the soda can exploded in his hand. Soda flew everywhere, 28 soaking me, like it was spraying from a hose. sh 29 “Jake!” I started to complain, but I fell silent when I reg 30 realized that his whole body was quivering with anger. He glared at me wildly, a growling sound building in his chest. 182 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 183 I froze in place, too shocked to remember how to move. 1 The shaking rolled through him, getting faster, until it 2 looked like he was vibrating. His shape blurred. . . . 3 And then Jacob gritted his teeth together, and the 4 growling stopped. He squeezed his eyes tight in concen- 5 tration; the quivering slowed until only his hands were 6 shaking. 7 “Weeks,” Jacob said in a flat monotone. 8 I couldn’t respond; I was still frozen. 9 He opened his eyes. They were beyond fury now. 10 “He’s going to change you into a filthy bloodsucker in 11 just a few weeks!” Jacob hissed through his teeth. 12 Too stunned to take offense at his words, I just nodded 13 mutely. 14 His face turned green under the russet skin. 15 “Of course, Jake,” I whispered after a long minute of si- 16 lence. “He’s seventeen, Jacob. And I get closer to nineteen 17 every day. Besides, what’s the point in waiting? He’s all I 18 want. What else can I do?” 19 I’d meant that as a rhetorical question. 20 His words cracked like snaps of a whip. “Anything. Any- 21 thing else. You’d be better off dead. I’d rather you were.” 22 I recoiled like he’d slapped me. It hurt worse than if 23 he had. 24 And then, as the pain shot through me, my own tem- 25 per burst into flame. 26 “Maybe you’ll get lucky,” I said bleakly, lurching to my 27 feet. “Maybe I’ll get hit by a truck on my way back.” 28 I grabbed my motorcycle and pushed it out into the 29 sh rain. He didn’t move as I passed him. As soon as I was on 30 reg 183 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 184 1 the small, muddy path, I climbed on and kicked the bike 2 to life. The rear tire spit a fountain of mud toward the 3 garage, and I hoped that it hit him. 4 5 I got absolutely soaked as I sped across the slick highway 6 toward the Cullens’ house. The wind felt like it was freez- 7 ing the rain against my skin, and my teeth were chatter- 8 ing before I was halfway there. 9 10 Motorcycles were too impractical for Washington. I 11 would sell the stupid thing first chance I got. 12 13 I walked the bike into the Cullens’ cavernous garage 14 and was unsurprised to find Alice waiting for me, perched 15 lightly on the hood of her Porsche. Alice stroked the glossy 16 yellow paint. 17 18 “I haven’t even had a chance to drive it.” She sighed. 19 “Sorry,” I spit through my rattling teeth. 20 “You look like you could use a hot shower,” she said, 21 offhand, as she sprang lightly to her feet. 22 “Yep.” 23 She pursed her lips, taking in my expression carefully. 24 “Do you want to talk about it?” 25 “Nope.” 26 She nodded in assent, but her eyes were raging with cu- 27 riosity. 28 “Do you want to go to Olympia tonight?” sh 29 “Not really. Can’t I go home?” reg 30 She grimaced. “Never mind, Alice,” I said. “I’ll stay if it makes things easier for you.” “Thanks,” she sighed in relief. 184 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 185 I went to bed early that night, curling up on his sofa 1 again. 2 3 It was still dark when I woke. I was groggy, but I knew 4 it wasn’t near morning yet. My eyes closed, and I stretched, 5 rolling over. It took me a second before I realized that the 6 movement should have dumped me onto the floor. And 7 that I was much too comfortable. 8 9 I rolled back over, trying to see. It was darker than last 10 night — the clouds were too thick for the moon to shine 11 through. 12 13 “Sorry,” he murmured so softly that his voice was part 14 of the darkness. “I didn’t mean to wake you.” 15 16 I tensed, waiting for the fury — both his and mine — 17 but it was only quiet and calm in the darkness of his room. 18 I could almost taste the sweetness of reunion in the air, a 19 separate fragrance from the perfume of his breath; the 20 emptiness when we were apart left its own bitter after- 21 taste, something I didn’t consciously notice until it was 22 removed. 23 24 There was no friction in the space between us. The 25 stillness was peaceful — not like the calm before the tem- 26 pest, but like a clear night untouched by even the dream 27 of a storm. 28 29 sh And I didn’t care that I was supposed to be angry with 30 reg him. I didn’t care that I was supposed to be angry with everyone. I reached out for him, found his hands in the darkness, and pulled myself closer to him. His arms encir- cled me, cradling me to his chest. My lips searched, hunt- ing along his throat, to his chin, till I finally found his lips. 185 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 186 1 Edward kissed me softly for a moment, and then he 2 chuckled. 3 4 “I was all braced for the wrath that was going to put 5 grizzlies to shame, and this is what I get? I should infuri- 6 ate you more often.” 7 8 “Give me a minute to work up to it,” I teased, kissing 9 him again. 10 11 “I’ll wait as long as you want,” he whispered against 12 my lips. His fingers knotted in my hair. 13 14 My breath was becoming uneven. “Maybe in the 15 morning.” 16 17 “Whatever you prefer.” 18 “Welcome home,” I said while his cold lips pressed un- 19 der my jaw. “I’m glad you came back.” 20 “That’s a very good thing.” 21 “Mmm,” I agreed, tightening my arms around his 22 neck. 23 His hand curved around my elbow, moving slowly 24 down my arm, across my ribs and over my waist, tracing 25 along my hip and down my leg, around my knee. He 26 paused there, his hand curling around my calf. He pulled 27 my leg up suddenly, hitching it around his hip. 28 I stopped breathing. This wasn’t the kind of thing he sh 29 usually allowed. Despite his cold hands, I felt suddenly reg 30 warm. His lips moved in the hollow at the base of my throat. “Not to bring on the ire prematurely,” he whispered, “but do you mind telling me what it is about this bed that you object to?” Before I could answer, before I could even concentrate 186 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 187 enough to make sense of his words, he rolled to the side, 1 pulling me on top of him. He held my face in his hands, 2 angling it up so that his mouth could reach my throat. My 3 breathing was too loud — it was almost embarrassing, 4 but I couldn’t care quite enough to be ashamed. 5 6 “The bed?” he asked again. “I think it’s nice.” 7 “It’s unnecessary,” I managed to gasp. 8 He pulled my face back to his, and my lips shaped 9 themselves around his. Slowly this time, he rolled till he 10 hovered over me. He held himself carefully so that I felt 11 none of his weight, but I could feel the cool marble of 12 his body press against mine. My heart was hammering so 13 loudly that it was hard to hear his quiet laughter. 14 “That’s debatable,” he disagreed. “This would be diffi- 15 cult on a couch.” 16 Cold as ice, his tongue lightly traced the shape of my lips. 17 My head was spinning — the air was coming too fast 18 and shallow. 19 “Did you change your mind?” I asked breathlessly. 20 Maybe he’d rethought all his careful rules. Maybe there 21 was more significance to this bed than I’d originally 22 guessed. My heart pounded almost painfully as I waited 23 for his answer. 24 Edward sighed, rolling back so that we were on our 25 sides again. 26 “Don’t be ridiculous, Bella,” he said, disapproval 27 strong in his voice — clearly, he understood what I meant. 28 “I was just trying to illustrate the benefits of the bed you 29 sh don’t seem to like. Don’t get carried away.” 30 reg “Too late,” I muttered. “And I like the bed,” I added. 187 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 188 1 “Good.” I could hear the smile in his voice as he kissed 2 my forehead. “I do, too.” 3 4 “But I still think it’s unnecessary,” I continued. “If 5 we’re not going to get carried away, what’s the point?” 6 7 He sighed again. “For the hundredth time, Bella — 8 it’s too dangerous.” 9 10 “I like danger,” I insisted. 11 “I know.” There was a sour edge to his voice, and I 12 realized that he would have seen the motorcycle in the 13 garage. 14 “I’ll tell you what’s dangerous,” I said quickly, before 15 he could move to a new topic of discussion. “I’m going to 16 spontaneously combust one of these days — and you’ll 17 have no one but yourself to blame.” 18 He started to push me away. 19 “What are you doing?” I objected, clinging to him. 20 “Protecting you from combustion. If this too much for 21 you. . . .” 22 “I can handle it,” I insisted. 23 He let me worm myself back into the circle of his arms. 24 “I’m sorry I gave you the wrong impression,” he said. “I 25 didn’t mean to make you unhappy. That wasn’t nice.” 26 “Actually, it was very, very nice.” 27 He took a deep breath. “Aren’t you tired? I should let 28 you sleep.” sh 29 “No, I’m not. I don’t mind if you want to give me the reg 30 wrong impression again.” “That’s probably a bad idea. You’re not the only one who gets carried away.” “Yes, I am,” I grumbled. 188 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 189 He chuckled. “You have no idea, Bella. It doesn’t help 1 that you are so eager to undermine my self-control, ei- 2 ther.” 3 4 “I’m not going to apologize for that.” 5 “Can I apologize?” 6 “For what?” 7 “You were angry with me, remember?” 8 “Oh, that.” 9 “I’m sorry. I was wrong. It’s much easier to have the 10 proper perspective when I have you safely here.” His 11 arms tightened around me. “I go a little berserk when I try 12 to leave you. I don’t think I’ll go so far again. It’s not 13 worth it.” 14 I smiled. “Didn’t you find any mountain lions?” 15 “Yes, I did, actually. Still not worth the anxiety. I’m 16 sorry I had Alice hold you hostage, though. That was a 17 bad idea.” 18 “Yes,” I agreed. 19 “I won’t do it again.” 20 “Okay,” I said easily. He was already forgiven. “But 21 slumber parties do have their advantages. . . .” I curled 22 myself closer to him, pressing my lips into the indentation 23 over his collarbone. “You can hold me hostage any time 24 you want.” 25 “Mmm,” he sighed. “I may take you up on that.” 26 “So is it my turn now?” 27 “Your turn?” his voice was confused. 28 “To apologize.” 29 sh “What do you have to apologize for?” 30 reg “Aren’t you mad at me?” I asked blankly. 189 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 190 1 “No.” 2 It sounded like he really meant it. 3 I felt my eyebrows pull together. “Didn’t you see Alice 4 when you got home?” 5 “Yes — why?” 6 “Are you going to take her Porsche back?” 7 “Of course not. It was a gift.” 8 I wished I could see his expression. His voice sounded 9 as if I’d insulted him. 10 “Don’t you want to know what I did?” I asked, starting 11 to be puzzled by his apparent lack of concern. 12 I felt him shrug. “I’m always interested in everything you 13 do — but you don’t have to tell me unless you want to.” 14 “But I went to La Push.” 15 “I know.” 16 “And I ditched school.” 17 “So did I.” 18 I stared toward the sound of his voice, tracing his 19 features with my fingers, trying to understand his mood. 20 “Where did all this tolerance come from?” I demanded. 21 He sighed. 22 “I decided that you were right. My problem before 23 was more about my . . . prejudice against werewolves than 24 anything else. I’m going to try to be more reasonable 25 and trust your judgment. If you say it’s safe, then I’ll be- 26 lieve you.” 27 “Wow.” 28 “And . . . most importantly . . . I’m not willing to let sh 29 this drive a wedge between us.” reg 30 190 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 191 I rested my head against his chest and closed my eyes, 1 totally content. 2 3 “So,” he murmured in a casual tone. “Did you make 4 plans to go back to La Push again soon?” 5 6 I didn’t answer. His question brought back the mem- 7 ory of Jacob’s words, and my throat was suddenly tight. 8 9 He misread my silence and the tension in my body. 10 “Just so that I can make my own plans,” he explained 11 quickly. “I don’t want you to feel like you have to hurry 12 back because I’m sitting around waiting for you.” 13 “No,” I said in a voice that sounded strange to me. “I 14 don’t have plans go back.” 15 “Oh. You don’t have to do that for me.” 16 “I don’t think I’m welcome anymore,” I whispered. 17 “Did you run over someone’s cat?” he asked lightly. I 18 knew he didn’t want to force the story out of me, but I 19 could hear the curiosity burning behind his words. 20 “No.” I took a deep breath, and then mumbled quickly 21 through the explanation. “I thought Jacob would have 22 realized . . . I didn’t think it would surprise him.” 23 Edward waited while I hesitated. 24 “He wasn’t expecting . . . that it was so soon.” 25 “Ah,” Edward said quietly. 26 “He said he’d rather see me dead.” My voice broke on 27 the last word. 28 Edward was too still for a moment, controlling what- 29 sh ever reaction he didn’t want me to see. 30 reg Then he crushed me gently to his chest. “I’m so sorry.” “I thought you’d be glad,” I whispered. 191 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 192 1 “Glad over something that’s hurt you?” he murmured 2 into my hair. “I don’t think so, Bella.” 3 4 I sighed and relaxed, fitting myself to the stone shape 5 of him. But he was motionless again, tense. 6 7 “What’s wrong?” I asked. 8 “It’s nothing.” 9 “You can tell me.” 10 He paused for a minute. “It might make you angry.” 11 “I still want to know.” 12 He sighed. “I could quite literally kill him for saying 13 that to you. I want to.” 14 I laughed halfheartedly. “I guess it’s a good thing you’ve 15 got so much self-control.” 16 “I could slip.” His tone was thoughtful. 17 “If you’re going to have a lapse in control, I can think 18 of a better place for it.” I reached for his face, trying to 19 pull myself up to kiss him. His arms held me tighter, re- 20 straining. 21 He sighed. “Must I always be the responsible one?” 22 I grinned in the darkness. “No. Let me be in charge of 23 responsibility for a few minutes . . . or hours.” 24 “Goodnight, Bella.” 25 “Wait — there was something else I wanted to ask you 26 about.” 27 “What’s that?” 28 “I was talking to Rosalie last night. . . .” sh 29 His body tensed again. “Yes. She was thinking about reg 30 that when I got in. She gave you quite a lot to consider, didn’t she?” 192 3rd Pass Pages

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