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Stephenie Meyer - Eclipse

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Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 193 His voice was anxious, and I realized that he thought I 1 wanted to talk about the reasons Rosalie’d given me for 2 staying human. But I was interested in something much 3 more pressing. 4 5 “She told me a little bit . . . about the time your family 6 lived in Denali.” 7 8 There was a short pause; this beginning took him by 9 surprise. “Yes?” 10 11 “She mentioned something about a bunch of female 12 vampires . . . and you.” 13 14 He didn’t answer, though I waited for a long moment. 15 “Don’t worry,” I said, after the silence had grown un- 16 comfortable. “She told me you didn’t . . . show any prefer- 17 ence. But I was just wondering, you know, if any of them 18 had. Shown a preference for you, I mean.” 19 Again he said nothing. 20 “Which one?” I asked, trying to keep my voice casual, 21 and not quite managing. “Or was there more than one?” 22 No answer. I wished I could see his face, so I could try 23 to guess what this silence meant. 24 “Alice will tell me,” I said. “I’ll go ask her right now.” 25 His arms tightened; I was unable to squirm even an 26 inch away. 27 “It’s late,” he said. His voice had a little edge to it that 28 was something new. Sort of nervous, maybe a little embar- 29 sh rassed. “Besides, I think Alice stepped out. . . .” 30 reg “It’s bad,” I guessed. “It’s really bad, isn’t it?” I started to panic, my heart accelerating as I imagined the gorgeous immortal rival I’d never realized I had. 193 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 194 1 “Calm down, Bella,” he said, kissing the tip of my 2 nose. “You’re being absurd.” 3 4 “Am I? Then why won’t you tell me?” 5 “Because there’s nothing to tell. You’re blowing this 6 wildly out of proportion.” 7 “Which one?” I insisted. 8 He sighed. “Tanya expressed a little interest. I let her 9 know, in a very courteous, gentlemanly fashion, that I did 10 not return that interest. End of story.” 11 I kept my voice as even as possible. “Tell me some- 12 thing — what does Tanya look like?” 13 “Just like the rest of us — white skin, gold eyes,” he 14 answered too quickly. 15 “And, of course, extraordinarily beautiful.” 16 I felt him shrug. 17 “I suppose, to human eyes,” he said, indifferent. “You 18 know what, though?” 19 “What?” My voice was petulant. 20 He put his lips right to my ear; his cold breath tickled. 21 “I prefer brunettes.” 22 “She’s a blonde. That figures.” 23 “Strawberry blonde — not at all my type.” 24 I thought about that for a while, trying to concentrate 25 as his lips moved slowly along my cheek, down my throat, 26 and back up again. He made the circuit three times before 27 I spoke. 28 “I guess that’s okay, then,” I decided. sh 29 “Hmm,” he whispered against my skin. “You’re quite reg 30 adorable when you’re jealous. It’s surprisingly enjoyable.” I scowled into the darkness. 194 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 195 “It’s late,” he said again, murmuring, almost croon- 1 ing now, his voice smoother than silk. “Sleep, my Bella. 2 Dream happy dreams. You are the only one who has ever 3 touched my heart. It will always be yours. Sleep, my only 4 love.” 5 6 He started to hum my lullaby, and I knew it was only a 7 matter of time till I succumbed, so I closed my eyes and 8 snuggled closer into his chest. 9 10 195 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 196 1 9 . TA R G E T 2 3 Alice dropped me off in the morning, in keeping 4 with the slumber party charade. It wouldn’t be long until 5 Edward showed up, officially returning from his “hiking” 6 trip. All of the pretenses were starting to wear on me. I 7 wouldn’t miss this part of being human. 8 9 Charlie peeked through the front window when he 10 heard me slam the car door. He waved to Alice, and then 11 went to get the door for me. 12 13 “Did you have fun?” Charlie asked. 14 “Sure, it was great. Very . . . girlie.” 15 I carried my stuff in, dumped it all at the foot of the 16 stairs, and wandered into the kitchen to look for a snack. 17 “You’ve got a message,” Charlie called after me. 18 19 196 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 197 On the kitchen counter, the phone message pad was 1 propped up conspicuously against a saucepan. 2 3 Jacob called, Charlie had written. 4 5 He said he didn’t mean it, and that 6 he’s sorry. He wants you to call 7 him. Be nice and give him a break. 8 He sounded upset. 9 10 I grimaced. Charlie didn’t usually editorialize on my 11 messages. 12 13 Jacob could just go ahead and be upset. I didn’t want to 14 talk to him. Last I’d heard, they weren’t big on allowing 15 phone calls from the other side. If Jacob preferred me 16 dead, then maybe he should get used to the silence. 17 18 My appetite evaporated. I turned an about face and 19 went to put my things away. 20 21 “Aren’t you going to call Jacob?” Charlie asked. He 22 was leaning around the living room wall, watching me 23 pick up. 24 25 “No.” 26 I started up the stairs. 27 “That’s not very attractive behavior, Bella,” he said. 28 “Forgiveness is divine.” 29 sh “Mind your own business,” I muttered under my 30 reg breath, much too low for him to hear. I knew the laundry was building up, so after I put my toothpaste away and threw my dirty clothes in the ham- per, I went to strip Charlie’s bed. I left his sheets in a pile at the top of the stairs and went to get mine. 197 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 198 1 I paused beside the bed, cocking my head to the side. 2 Where was my pillow? I turned in a circle, scanning 3 the room. No pillow. I noticed that my room looked oddly 4 tidy. Hadn’t my gray sweatshirt been draped over the low 5 bedpost on the footboard? And I would swear there had 6 been a pair of dirty socks behind the rocking chair, along 7 with the red blouse I’d tried on two mornings ago, but de- 8 cided was too dressy for school, hanging over the arm. . . . 9 I spun around again. My hamper wasn’t empty, but it 10 wasn’t overflowing, the way I thought it had been. 11 Was Charlie doing laundry? That was out of character. 12 “Dad, did you start the wash?” I shouted out my door. 13 “Um, no,” he shouted back, sounding guilty. “Did you 14 want me to?” 15 “No, I got it. Were you looking for something in my 16 room?” 17 “No. Why?” 18 “I can’t find . . . a shirt. . . .” 19 “I haven’t been in there.” 20 And then I remembered that Alice had been here to get 21 my pajamas. I hadn’t noticed that she’d borrowed my pil- 22 low, too — probably since I’d avoided the bed. It looked 23 like she had cleaned while she was passing through. I 24 blushed for my slovenly ways. 25 But that red shirt really wasn’t dirty, so I went to save 26 it from the hamper. 27 I expected to find it near the top, but it wasn’t there. I 28 dug through the whole pile and still couldn’t find it. I sh 29 knew I was probably getting paranoid, but it seemed like reg 30 198 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 199 something else was missing, or maybe more than one 1 something. I didn’t even have half a load here. 2 3 I ripped my sheets off and headed for the laundry 4 closet, grabbing Charlie’s on the way. The washing ma- 5 chine was empty. I checked the dryer, too, half-expecting 6 to find a washed load waiting for me, courtesy of Alice. 7 Nothing. I frowned, mystified. 8 9 “Did you find what you were looking for?” Charlie 10 yelled. 11 12 “Not yet.” 13 I went back upstairs to search under my bed. Nothing 14 but dust bunnies. I started to dig through my dresser. 15 Maybe I’d put the red shirt away and forgotten. 16 I gave up when the doorbell rang. That would be Ed- 17 ward. 18 “Door,” Charlie informed me from the couch as I skipped 19 past him. 20 “Don’t strain yourself, Dad.” 21 I pulled the door open with a big smile on my face. 22 Edward’s golden eyes were wide, his nostrils flared, his 23 lips pulled back over his teeth. 24 “Edward?” My voice was sharp with shock as I read his 25 expression. “What —?” 26 He put his finger to my lips. “Give me two seconds,” 27 he whispered. “Don’t move.” 28 I stood frozen on the doorstep and he . . . disappeared. 29 sh He moved so quickly that Charlie wouldn’t even have seen 30 reg him pass. Before I could compose myself enough to count to two, 199 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 200 1 he was back. He put his arm around my waist and pulled 2 me swiftly toward the kitchen. His eyes darted around the 3 room, and he held me against his body as if he were shield- 4 ing me from something. I threw a glance toward Charlie 5 on the couch, but he was studiously ignoring us. 6 7 “Someone’s been here,” he murmured in my ear after 8 he pulled me to the back of the kitchen. His voice was 9 strained; it was difficult to hear him over the thumping of 10 the washing machine. 11 12 “I swear that no werewolves —” I started to say. 13 “Not one of them,” he interrupted me quickly, shaking 14 his head. “One of us.” 15 His tone made it clear that he didn’t mean a member of 16 his family. 17 I felt the blood empty from my face. 18 “Victoria?” I choked. 19 “It’s not a scent I recognize.” 20 “One of the Volturi,” I guessed. 21 “Probably.” 22 “When?” 23 “That’s why I think it must have been them — it 24 wasn’t long ago, early this morning while Charlie was 25 sleeping. And whoever it was didn’t touch him, so there 26 must have been another purpose.” 27 “Looking for me.” 28 He didn’t answer. His body was frozen, a statue. sh 29 “What are you two hissing about in here?” Charlie reg 30 asked suspiciously, rounding the corner with an empty popcorn bowl in his hands. I felt green. A vampire had been in the house looking 200 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 201 for me while Charlie slept. Panic overwhelmed me, closed 1 my throat. I couldn’t answer, I just stared at him in horror. 2 3 Charlie’s expression changed. Abruptly, he was grin- 4 ning. “If you two are having a fight . . . well, don’t let me 5 interrupt.” 6 7 Still grinning, he put his bowl in the sink and saun- 8 tered out of the room. 9 10 “Let’s go,” Edward said in a low hard voice. 11 “But Charlie!” The fear was squeezing my chest, mak- 12 ing it hard to breathe. 13 He deliberated for a short second, and then his phone 14 was in his hand. 15 “Emmett,” he muttered into the receiver. He began 16 talking so fast that I couldn’t understand the words. It was 17 over in half a minute. He started pulling me toward the 18 door. 19 “Emmett and Jasper are on their way,” he whispered 20 when he felt my resistance. “They’ll sweep the woods. 21 Charlie is fine.” 22 I let him drag me along then, too panicked to think 23 clearly. Charlie met my frightened eyes with a smug grin, 24 which suddenly turned to confusion. Edward had me out 25 the door before Charlie could say anything. 26 “Where are we going?” I couldn’t stop whispering, 27 even after we were in the car. 28 “We’re going to talk to Alice,” he told me, his volume 29 sh normal but his voice bleak. 30 reg “You think maybe she saw something?” He stared at the road through narrowed eyes. “Maybe.” They were waiting for us, on alert after Edward’s call. 201 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 202 1 It was like walking into a museum, everyone still as stat- 2 ues in various poses of stress. 3 4 “What happened?” Edward demanded as soon as we 5 were through the door. I was shocked to see that he was 6 glowering at Alice, his hands fisted in anger. 7 8 Alice stood with her arms folded tight across her chest. 9 Only her lips moved. “I have no idea. I didn’t see any- 10 thing.” 11 12 “How is that possible?” he hissed. 13 “Edward,” I said, a quiet reproof. I didn’t like him talk- 14 ing to Alice this way. 15 Carlisle interrupted in a calming voice. “It’s not an ex- 16 act science, Edward.” 17 “He was in her room, Alice. He could have still been 18 there — waiting for her.” 19 “I would have seen that.” 20 Edward threw his hands up in exasperation. “Really? 21 You’re sure?” 22 Alice’s voice was cold when she answered. “You’ve al- 23 ready got me watching the Volturis’ decisions, watching 24 for Victoria’s return, watching Bella’s every step. You want 25 to add another? Do I just have to watch Charlie, or Bella’s 26 room, or the house, or the whole street, too? Edward, if I 27 try to do too much, things are going to start slipping 28 through the cracks.” sh 29 “It looks like they already are,” Edward snapped. reg 30 “She was never in any danger. There was nothing to see.” “If you’re watching Italy, why didn’t you see them send —” 202 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 203 “I don’t think it’s them,” Alice insisted. “I would have 1 seen that.” 2 3 “Who else would leave Charlie alive?” 4 I shuddered. 5 “I don’t know,” Alice said. 6 “Helpful.” 7 “Stop it, Edward,” I whispered. 8 He turned on me, his face still livid, his teeth clenched 9 together. He glared at me for half a second, and then, sud- 10 denly, he exhaled. His eyes widened and his jaw relaxed. 11 “You’re right, Bella. I’m sorry.” He looked at Alice. 12 “Forgive me, Alice. I shouldn’t be taking this out on you. 13 That was inexcusable.” 14 “I understand,” Alice assured him. “I’m not happy 15 about it, either.” 16 Edward took a deep breath. “Okay, let’s look at this 17 logically. What are the possibilities?” 18 Everyone seemed to thaw out at once. Alice relaxed and 19 leaned against the back of the couch. Carlisle walked 20 slowly toward her, his eyes far away. Esme sat on the sofa 21 in front of Alice, curling her legs up on the seat. Only 22 Rosalie remained unmoving, her back to us, staring out 23 the glass wall. 24 Edward pulled me to the sofa and I sat next to Esme, 25 who shifted to put her arm around me. He held one of my 26 hands tightly in both of his. 27 “Victoria?” Carlisle asked. 28 Edward shook his head. “No. I didn’t know the scent. 29 sh He might have been from the Volturi, someone I’ve never 30 reg met. . . .” 203 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 204 1 Alice shook her head. “Aro hasn’t asked anyone to look 2 for her yet. I will see that. I’m waiting for it.” 3 4 Edward’s head snapped up. “You’re watching for an of- 5 ficial command.” 6 7 “You think someone’s acting on their own? Why?” 8 “Caius’s idea,” Edward suggested, his face tightening 9 again. 10 “Or Jane’s . . . ,” Alice said. “They both have the re- 11 sources to send an unfamiliar face. . . .” 12 Edward scowled. “And the motivation.” 13 “It doesn’t make sense, though,” Esme said. “If who- 14 ever it was meant to wait for Bella, Alice would have seen 15 that. He — or she — had no intention of hurting Bella. 16 Or Charlie, for that matter.” 17 I cringed at my father’s name. 18 “It’s going to be fine, Bella,” Esme murmured, smooth- 19 ing my hair. 20 “But what was the point then?” Carlisle mused. 21 “Checking to see if I’m still human?” I guessed. 22 “Possible,” Carlisle said. 23 Rosalie breathed out a sigh, loud enough for me to 24 hear. She’d unfrozen, and her face was turned expectantly 25 toward the kitchen. Edward, on the other hand, looked 26 discouraged. 27 Emmett burst through the kitchen door, Jasper right 28 behind him. sh 29 “Long gone, hours ago,” Emmett announced, disap- reg 30 pointed. “The trail went East, then South, and disap- peared on a side road. Had a car waiting.” 204 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 205 “That’s bad luck,” Edward muttered. “If he’d gone 1 west . . . well, it would be nice for those dogs to make 2 themselves useful.” 3 4 I winced, and Esme rubbed my shoulder. 5 Jasper looked at Carlisle. “Neither of us recognized 6 him. But here.” He held out something green and crum- 7 pled. Carlisle took it from him and held it to his face. I 8 saw, as it exchanged hands, that it was a broken fern frond. 9 “Maybe you know the scent.” 10 “No,” Carlisle said. “Not familiar. No one I’ve ever 11 met.” 12 “Perhaps we’re looking at this the wrong way. Maybe 13 it’s a coincidence . . . ,” Esme began, but stopped when 14 she saw everyone else’s incredulous expressions. “I don’t 15 mean a coincidence that a stranger happened to pick 16 Bella’s house to visit at random. I meant that maybe some- 17 one was just curious. Our scent is all around her. Was he 18 wondering what draws us there?” 19 “Why wouldn’t he just come here then? If he was curi- 20 ous?” Emmett demanded. 21 “You would,” Esme said with a sudden, fond smile. 22 “The rest of us aren’t always so direct. Our family is very 23 large — he or she might be frightened. But Charlie wasn’t 24 harmed. This doesn’t have to be an enemy.” 25 Just curious. Like James and Victoria had been curious, 26 in the beginning? The thought of Victoria made me trem- 27 ble, though the one thing they seemed certain of was that 28 it had not been her. Not this time. She would stick to her 29 sh obsessed pattern. This was just someone else, a stranger. 30 reg 205 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 206 1 I was slowly realizing that vampires were much bigger 2 participants in this world than I’d once thought. How 3 many times did the average human cross paths with them, 4 completely unaware? How many deaths, obliviously re- 5 ported as crimes and accidents, were really due to their 6 thirst? How crowded would this new world be when I fi- 7 nally joined it? 8 9 The shrouded future sent a shiver down my spine. 10 The Cullens pondered Esme’s words with varying ex- 11 pressions. I could see that Edward did not accept her the- 12 ory, and that Carlisle very much wanted to. 13 Alice pursed her lips. “I don’t think so. The timing of it 14 was too perfect. . . . This visitor was so careful to make no 15 contact. Almost like he or she knew that I would see. . . .” 16 “He could have other reasons for not making contact,” 17 Esme reminded her. 18 “Does it really matter who it was?” I asked. “Just the 19 chance that someone was looking for me . . . isn’t that rea- 20 son enough? We shouldn’t wait for graduation.” 21 “No, Bella,” Edward said quickly. “It’s not that bad. If 22 you’re really in danger, we’ll know.” 23 “Think of Charlie,” Carlisle reminded me. “Think of 24 how it would hurt him if you disappeared.” 25 “I am thinking of Charlie! He’s the one I’m worried 26 about! What if my little guest had happened to be thirsty 27 last night? As long as I’m around Charlie, he’s a target, 28 too. If anything happened to him, it would be all my fault!” sh 29 “Hardly, Bella,” Esme said, patting my hair again. reg 30 “And nothing will happen to Charlie. We’re just going to have to be more careful.” 206 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 207 “More careful?” I repeated in disbelief. 1 “It’s all going to be fine, Bella,” Alice promised; Ed- 2 ward squeezed my hand. 3 And I could see, looking at all of their beautiful faces 4 one by one, that nothing I could say was going to change 5 their minds. 6 7 It was a quiet ride home. I was frustrated. Against my bet- 8 ter judgment, I was still human. 9 10 “You won’t be alone for a second,” Edward promised as 11 he drove me to Charlie’s. “Someone will always be there. 12 Emmett, Alice, Jasper . . .” 13 14 I sighed. “This is ridiculous. They’ll get so bored, 15 they’ll have to kill me themselves, just for something 16 to do.” 17 18 Edward gave me a sour look. “Hilarious, Bella.” 19 Charlie was in a good mood when we got back. He 20 could see the tension between me and Edward, and he was 21 misinterpreting it. He watched me throw together his din- 22 ner with a smug smile on his face. Edward had excused 23 himself for a moment, to do some surveillance, I assumed, 24 but Charlie waited till he was back to pass on my messages. 25 “Jacob called again,” Charlie said as soon as Edward 26 was in the room. I kept my face empty as I set the plate in 27 front of him. 28 “Is that a fact?” 29 sh Charlie frowned. “Don’t be petty, Bella. He sounded 30 reg really low.” “Is Jacob paying you for all the P.R., or are you a vol- unteer?” 207 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 208 1 Charlie grumbled incoherently at me until the food cut 2 off his garbled complaint. 3 4 Though he didn’t realize it, he’d found his mark. 5 My life was feeling a lot like a game of dice right 6 now — would the next roll come up snake eyes? What if 7 something did happen to me? It seemed worse than petty 8 to leave Jacob feeling guilty about what he’d said. 9 But I didn’t want to talk to him with Charlie around, 10 to have to watch my every word so I didn’t let the wrong 11 thing slip. Thinking about this made me jealous of Jacob 12 and Billy’s relationship. How easy it must be when you 13 had no secrets from the person you lived with. 14 So I would wait for the morning. I most likely wasn’t 15 going to die tonight, after all, and it wouldn’t hurt him to 16 feel guilty for twelve more hours. It might even be good 17 for him. 18 When Edward officially left for the evening, I wondered 19 who was out in the downpour, keeping an eye on Charlie 20 and me. I felt awful for Alice or whoever else it might be, 21 but still comforted. I had to admit it was nice, knowing I 22 wasn’t alone. And Edward was back in record time. 23 He sang me to sleep again and — aware even in uncon- 24 sciousness that he was there — I slept free of nightmares. 25 26 In the morning, Charlie left to go fishing with Deputy 27 Mark before I was up. I decided to use this lack of super- 28 vision to be divine. sh 29 reg 30 “I’m going to let Jacob off the hook,” I warned Edward after I’d eaten breakfast. 208 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 209 “I knew you’d forgive him,” he said with an easy smile. 1 “Holding grudges is not one of your many talents.” 2 3 I rolled my eyes, but I was pleased. It seemed like Ed- 4 ward really was over the whole anti-werewolf thing. 5 6 I didn’t look at the clock until after I’d dialed. It was a 7 little early for calls, and I worried that I would wake Billy 8 and Jake, but someone picked up before the second ring, 9 so he couldn’t have been too far from the phone. 10 11 “Hello?” a dull voice said. 12 “Jacob?” 13 “Bella!” he exclaimed. “Oh, Bella, I’m so sorry!” he 14 tripped over the words as he hurried to get them out. “I 15 swear I didn’t mean it. I was just being stupid. I was an- 16 gry — but that’s no excuse. It was the stupidest thing I’ve 17 ever said in my life and I’m sorry. Don’t be mad at me, 18 please? Please. Lifetime of servitude up for grabs — all 19 you have to do is forgive me.” 20 “I’m not mad. You’re forgiven.” 21 “Thank you,” he breathed fervently. “I can’t believe I 22 was such a jerk.” 23 “Don’t worry about that — I’m used to it.” 24 He laughed, exuberant with relief. “Come down to see 25 me,” he begged. “I want to make it up to you.” 26 I frowned. “How?” 27 “Anything you want. Cliff diving,” he suggested, laugh- 28 ing again. 29 sh “Oh, there’s a brilliant idea.” 30 reg “I’ll keep you safe,” he promised. “No matter what you want to do.” 209 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 210 1 I glanced at Edward. His face was very calm, but I was 2 sure this was not the time. 3 4 “Not right now.” 5 “He’s not thrilled with me, is he?” Jacob’s voice was 6 ashamed, rather than bitter, for once. 7 “That’s not the problem. There’s . . . well, there’s this 8 other problem that’s slightly more worrisome than a bratty 9 teenage werewolf. . . .” I tried to keep my tone joking, but 10 I didn’t fool him. 11 “What’s wrong?” he demanded. 12 “Um.” I wasn’t sure what I should tell him. 13 Edward held his hand out for the phone. I looked at his 14 face carefully. He seemed calm enough. 15 “Bella?” Jacob asked. 16 Edward sighed, holding his hand closer. 17 “Do you mind speaking to Edward?” I asked apprehen- 18 sively. “He wants to talk to you.” 19 There was a long pause. 20 “Okay,” Jacob finally agreed. “This should be inter- 21 esting.” 22 I handed the phone to Edward; I hoped he could read 23 the warning in my eyes. 24 “Hello, Jacob,” Edward said, perfectly polite. 25 There was a silence. I bit my lip, trying to guess how 26 Jacob would answer. 27 “Someone was here — not a scent I know,” Edward ex- 28 plained. “Has your pack come across anything new?” sh 29 Another pause, while Edward nodded to himself, un- reg 30 surprised. 210 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 211 “Here’s the crux, Jacob. I won’t be letting Bella out of 1 my sight till I get this taken care of. It’s nothing per- 2 sonal —” 3 4 Jacob interrupted him then, and I could hear the buzz 5 of his voice from the receiver. Whatever he was saying, he 6 was more intense than before. I tried unsuccessfully to 7 make out the words. 8 9 “You might be right —,” Edward began, but Jacob 10 was arguing again. Neither of them sounded angry, at 11 least. 12 13 “That’s an interesting suggestion. We’re quite willing 14 to renegotiate. If Sam is amenable.” 15 16 Jacob’s voice was quieter now. I started chewing on my 17 thumbnail as I tried to read Edward’s expression. 18 19 “Thank you,” Edward replied. 20 Then Jacob said something that caused a surprised ex- 21 pression to flicker across Edward’s face. 22 “I’d planned to go alone, actually,” Edward said, an- 23 swering the unexpected question. “And leave her with the 24 others.” 25 Jacob’s voice rose in pitch, and it sounded to me like he 26 was trying to be persuasive. 27 “I’ll try to consider it objectively,” Edward promised. 28 “As objectively as I’m capable of.” 29 sh The pause was shorter this time. 30 reg “That’s not a half-bad idea. When? . . . No, that’s fine. I’d like a chance to follow the trail personally, anyway. Ten minutes . . . Certainly,” Edward said. He held the phone out to me. “Bella?” 211 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 212 1 I took it slowly, feeling confused. 2 “What was that all about?” I asked Jacob, my voice 3 peeved. I knew it was juvenile, but I felt excluded. 4 “A truce, I think. Hey, do me a favor,” Jacob suggested. 5 “Try to convince your bloodsucker that the safest place for 6 you to be — especially when he leaves — is on the reser- 7 vation. We’re well able to handle anything.” 8 “Is that what you were trying to sell him?” 9 “Yes. It makes sense. Charlie’s probably better off here, 10 too. As much as possible.” 11 “Get Billy on it,” I agreed. I hated that I was putting 12 Charlie within the range of the crosshairs that always 13 seemed to be centered on me. “What else?” 14 “Just rearranging some boundaries, so we can catch 15 anyone who gets too near Forks. I’m not sure if Sam will 16 go for it, but until he comes around, I’ll keep an eye on 17 things.” 18 “What do you mean by ‘keep an eye on things’?” 19 “I mean that if you see a wolf running around your 20 house, don’t shoot at it.” 21 “Of course not. You really shouldn’t do anything . . . 22 risky, though.” 23 He snorted. “Don’t be stupid. I can take care of my- 24 self.” 25 I sighed. 26 “I also tried to convince him to let you visit. He’s prej- 27 udiced, so don’t let him give you any crap about safety. He 28 knows as well as I do that you’d be safe here.” sh 29 “I’ll keep that in mind.” reg 30 “See you in a few,” Jacob said. 212 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 213 “You’re coming up?” 1 “Yeah. I’m going to get the scent of your visitor so we 2 can track him if he comes back.” 3 “Jake, I really don’t like the idea of you tracking —” 4 “Oh please, Bella,” he interrupted. Jacob laughed, and 5 then hung up. 6 7 213 8 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 214 1 10. SCENT 2 3 It was all very childish. Why on earth should Ed- 4 ward have to leave for Jacob to come over? Weren’t we 5 past this kind of immaturity? 6 7 “It’s not that I feel any personal antagonism toward 8 him, Bella, it’s just easier for both of us,” Edward told me 9 at the door. “I won’t be far away. You’ll be safe.” 10 11 “I’m not worried about that.” 12 He smiled, and then a sly look came into his eye. He 13 pulled me close, burying his face in my hair. I could feel 14 his cool breath saturate the strands as he exhaled; it raised 15 goose bumps on my neck. 16 “I’ll be right back,” he said, and then he laughed aloud 17 as if I’d just told a good joke. 18 19 214 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 215 “What’s so funny?” 1 But Edward just grinned and loped off toward the trees 2 without answering. 3 Grumbling to myself, I went to clean up the kitchen. 4 Before I even had the sink full of water, the doorbell rang. 5 It was hard to get used to how much faster Jacob was with- 6 out his car. How everyone seemed to be so much faster 7 than me. . . . 8 “Come in, Jake!” I shouted. 9 I was concentrating on piling the dishes into the bub- 10 bly water, and I’d forgotten that Jacob moved like a ghost 11 these days. So it made me jump when his voice was sud- 12 denly there behind me. 13 “Should you really leave your door unlocked like that? 14 Oh, sorry.” 15 I’d slopped myself with the dishwater when he’d star- 16 tled me. 17 “I’m not worried about anyone who would be deterred 18 by a locked door,” I said while I wiped the front of my 19 shirt with a dishtowel. 20 “Good point,” he agreed. 21 I turned to look at him, eyeing him critically. “Is it 22 really so impossible to wear clothes, Jacob?” I asked. Once 23 again, Jacob was bare-chested, wearing nothing but a pair 24 of old cut-off jeans. Secretly, I wondered if he was just so 25 proud of his new muscles that he couldn’t stand to cover 26 them up. I had to admit, they were impressive — but I’d 27 never thought of him as vain. “I mean, I know you don’t 28 get cold anymore, but still.” 29 sh 30 reg 215 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 216 1 He ran a hand through his wet hair; it was falling in 2 his eyes. 3 4 “It’s just easier,” he explained. 5 “What’s easier?” 6 He smiled condescendingly. “It’s enough of a pain to 7 carry the shorts around with me, let alone a complete out- 8 fit. What do I look like, a pack mule?” 9 I frowned. “What are you talking about, Jacob?” 10 His expression was superior, like I was missing some- 11 thing obvious. “My clothes don’t just pop in and out of 12 existence when I change — I have to carry them with me 13 while I run. Pardon me for keeping my burden light.” 14 I changed color. “I guess I didn’t think about that,” I 15 muttered. 16 He laughed and pointed to a black leather cord, thin as 17 a strand of yarn, that was wound three times below his left 18 calf like an anklet. I hadn’t noticed before that his feet 19 were bare, too. “That’s more than just a fashion statement — 20 it sucks to carry jeans in your mouth.” 21 I didn’t know what to say to that. 22 He grinned. “Does my being half-naked bother you?” 23 “No.” 24 Jacob laughed again, and I turned my back on him to 25 focus on the dishes. I hoped he realized my blush was left 26 over from embarrassment at my own stupidity, and had 27 nothing to do with his question. 28 “Well, I suppose I should get to work.” He sighed. “I sh 29 wouldn’t want to give him an excuse to say I’m slacking reg 30 on my side.” 216 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 217 “Jacob, it’s not your job —” 1 He raised a hand to cut me off. “I’m working on a vol- 2 unteer basis here. Now, where is the intruder’s scent the 3 worst?” 4 “My bedroom, I think.” 5 His eyes narrowed. He didn’t like that any more than 6 Edward had. 7 “I’ll just be a minute.” 8 I methodically scrubbed the plate I was holding. The 9 only sound was the brush’s plastic bristles scraping round 10 and round on the ceramic. I listened for something from 11 above, a creak of the floorboard, the click of a door. There 12 was nothing. I realized I’d been cleaning the same plate far 13 longer than necessary, and I tried to pay attention to what 14 I was doing. 15 “Whew!” Jacob said, inches behind me, scaring me 16 again. 17 “Yeesh, Jake, cut that out!” 18 “Sorry. Here —” Jacob took the towel and mopped up 19 my new spill. “I’ll make it up to you. You wash, I’ll rinse 20 and dry.” 21 “Fine.” I gave him the plate. 22 “Well, the scent was easy enough to catch. By the way, 23 your room reeks.” 24 “I’ll buy some air freshener.” 25 He laughed. 26 I washed and he dried in companionable silence for a 27 few minutes. 28 “Can I ask you something?” 29 sh 30 reg 217 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 218 1 I handed him another plate. “That depends on what 2 you want to know.” 3 4 “I’m not trying to be a jerk or anything — I’m hon- 5 estly curious,” Jacob assured me. 6 7 “Fine. Go ahead.” 8 He paused for half a second. “What’s it like — having 9 a vampire for a boyfriend?” 10 I rolled my eyes. “It’s the best.” 11 “I’m serious. The idea doesn’t bother you — it never 12 creeps you out?” 13 “Never.” 14 He was silent as he reached for the bowl in my hands. I 15 peeked up at his face — he was frowning, his lower lip 16 jutting out. 17 “Anything else?” I asked. 18 He wrinkled his nose again. “Well . . . I was wonder- 19 ing . . . do you . . . y’know, kiss him?” 20 I laughed. “Yes.” 21 He shuddered. “Ugh.” 22 “To each her own,” I murmured. 23 “You don’t worry about the fangs?” 24 I smacked his arm, splashing him with dishwater. 25 “Shut up, Jacob! You know he doesn’t have fangs!” 26 “Close enough,” he muttered. 27 I gritted my teeth and scrubbed a boning knife with 28 more force than necessary. sh 29 “Can I ask another one?” he asked softly when I passed reg 30 the knife to him. “Just curious, again.” “Fine,” I snapped. 218 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 219 He turned the knife over and over in his hands under 1 the stream of water. When he spoke, it was only a whisper. 2 “You said a few weeks. . . . When, exactly . . . ?” He 3 couldn’t finish. 4 5 “Graduation,” I whispered back, watching his face war- 6 ily. Would this set him off again? 7 8 “So soon,” he breathed, his eyes closing. It didn’t sound 9 like a question. It sounded like a lament. The muscles in 10 his arms tightened and his shoulders were stiff. 11 12 “OW!” he shouted; it had gotten so still in the room 13 that I jumped a foot in the air at his outburst. 14 15 His right hand had curled into a tense fist around the 16 blade of the knife — he unclenched his hand and the knife 17 clattered onto the counter. Across his palm was a long, 18 deep gash. The blood streamed down his fingers and 19 dripped on the floor. 20 21 “Damn it! Ouch!” he complained. 22 My head spun and my stomach rolled. I clung to the 23 countertop with one hand, took a deep breath through my 24 mouth, and forced myself to get a grip so that I could take 25 care of him. 26 “Oh, no, Jacob! Oh, crap! Here, wrap this around it!” I 27 shoved the dish towel at him, reaching for his hand. He 28 shrugged away from me. 29 sh “It’s nothing, Bella, don’t worry about it.” 30 reg The room started to shimmer a little around the edges. I took another deep breath. “Don’t worry?! You sliced your hand open!” 219 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 220 1 He ignored the dish towel I pushed at him. He put his 2 hand under the faucet and let the water wash over the 3 wound. The water ran red. My head whirled. 4 5 “Bella,” he said. 6 I looked away from the wound, up to his face. He was 7 frowning, but his expression was calm. 8 “What?” 9 “You look like you’re going to pass out, and you’re bit- 10 ing your lip off. Stop it. Relax. Breathe. I’m fine.” 11 I inhaled through my mouth and removed my teeth 12 from my lower lip. “Don’t be brave.” 13 He rolled his eyes. 14 “Let’s go. I’ll drive you to the ER.” I was pretty sure I 15 would be okay to drive. The walls were holding steady 16 now, at least. 17 “Not necessary.” Jake turned off the water and took the 18 towel from my hand. He twisted it loosely around his palm. 19 “Wait,” I protested. “Let me look at it.” I clutched the 20 counter more firmly, to hold myself upright if the wound 21 made me woozy again. 22 “Do you have a medical degree that you never told me 23 about?” 24 “Just give me the chance to decide whether or not I’m 25 going to throw a fit over taking you to the hospital.” 26 He made a face of mock horror. “Please, not a fit!” 27 “If you don’t let me see your hand, a fit is guaranteed.” 28 He inhaled deeply, and then let out a gusty sigh. sh 29 “Fine.” reg 30 He unwound the towel and, when I reached out to take the cloth, he laid his hand in mine. 220 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 221 It took me a few seconds. I even flipped his hand over, 1 though I was sure he’d cut his palm. I turned his hand 2 back up, finally realizing that the angry pink, puckered 3 line was all that was left of his wound. 4 5 “But . . . you were bleeding . . . so much.” 6 He pulled his hand back, his eyes steady and somber on 7 mine. 8 “I heal fast.” 9 “I’ll say,” I mouthed. 10 I’d seen the long gash clearly, seen the blood that 11 flowed into the sink. The rust-and-salt smell of it had al- 12 most pulled me under. It should have needed stitches. It 13 should have taken days to scab over and then weeks to fade 14 into the shiny pink scar that marked his skin now. 15 He screwed his mouth up into half a smile and 16 thumped his fist once against his chest. “Werewolf, re- 17 member?” 18 His eyes held mine for an immeasurable moment. 19 “Right,” I finally said. 20 He laughed at my expression. “I told you this. You saw 21 Paul’s scar.” 22 I shook my head to clear it. “It’s a little different, see- 23 ing the action sequence firsthand.” 24 I kneeled down and dug the bleach out of the cabinet 25 under the sink. Then I poured some on a dusting rag and 26 started scrubbing the floor. The burning scent of the bleach 27 cleared the last of the dizziness from my head. 28 “Let me clean up,” Jacob said. 29 sh “I got this. Throw that towel in the wash, will you?” 30 reg When I was sure the floor smelled of nothing but 221 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 222 1 bleach, I got up and rinsed the right side of the sink with 2 bleach, too. Then I went to the laundry closet beside the 3 pantry, and poured a cupful into the washing machine be- 4 fore starting it. Jacob watched me with a disapproving 5 look on his face. 6 7 “Do you have obsessive-compulsive disorder?” he asked 8 when I was done. 9 10 Huh. Maybe. But at least I had a good excuse this time. 11 “We’re a bit sensitive to blood around here. I’m sure you 12 can understand that.” 13 14 “Oh.” He wrinkled his nose again. 15 “Why not make it as easy as possible for him? What 16 he’s doing is hard enough.” 17 “Sure, sure. Why not?” 18 I pulled the plug, and let the dirty water drain from 19 the sink. 20 “Can I ask you something, Bella?” 21 I sighed. 22 “What’s it like — having a werewolf for a best friend?” 23 The question caught me off guard. I laughed out loud. 24 “Does it creep you out?” he pressed before I could an- 25 swer. 26 “No. When the werewolf is being nice,” I qualified, 27 “it’s the best.” 28 He grinned widely, his teeth bright against his russet sh 29 skin. “Thanks, Bella,” he said, and then he grabbed my reg 30 hand and wrenched me into one of his bone-crushing hugs. Before I had time to react, he dropped his arms and stepped away. 222 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 223 “Ugh,” he said, his nose wrinkling. “Your hair stinks 1 worse than your room.” 2 3 “Sorry,” I muttered. I suddenly understood what Edward 4 had been laughing about earlier, after breathing on me. 5 6 “One of the many hazards of socializing with vam- 7 pires,” Jacob said, shrugging. “It makes you smell bad. A 8 minor hazard, comparatively.” 9 10 I glared at him. “I only smell bad to you, Jake.” 11 He grinned. “See you around, Bells.” 12 “Are you leaving?” 13 “He’s waiting for me to go. I can hear him outside.” 14 “Oh.” 15 “I’ll go out the back,” he said, and then he paused. 16 “Hold up a sec — hey, do you think you can come to La 17 Push tonight? We’re having a bonfire party. Emily will be 18 there, and you could meet Kim . . . And I know Quil 19 wants to see you, too. He’s pretty peeved that you found 20 out before he did.” 21 I grinned at that. I could just imagine how that would 22 have irked Quil — Jacob’s little human gal pal down with 23 the werewolves while he was still clueless. And then I 24 sighed. “Yeah, Jake, I don’t know about that. See, it’s a lit- 25 tle tense right now. . . .” 26 “C’mon, you think somebody’s going to get past all — 27 all six of us?” 28 There was a strange pause as he stuttered over the end 29 sh of his question. I wondered if he had trouble saying the 30 reg word werewolf aloud, the way I often had difficulty with vampire. His big dark eyes were full of unashamed pleading. 223 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 224 1 “I’ll ask,” I said doubtfully. 2 He made a noise in the back of his throat. “Is he your 3 warden, now, too? You know, I saw this story on the news 4 last week about controlling, abusive teenage relationships 5 and —” 6 “Okay!” I cut him off, and then shoved his arm. “Time 7 for the werewolf to get out!” 8 He grinned. “Bye, Bells. Be sure you ask permission.” 9 He ducked out the back door before I could find some- 10 thing to throw at him. I growled incoherently at the empty 11 room. 12 Seconds after he was gone, Edward walked slowly into 13 the kitchen, raindrops glistening like diamonds set into 14 the bronze of his hair. His eyes were wary. 15 “Did you two get into a fight?” he asked. 16 “Edward!” I sang, throwing myself at him. 17 “Hi, there.” He laughed and wrapped his arms around 18 me. “Are you trying to distract me? It’s working.” 19 “No, I didn’t fight with Jacob. Much. Why?” 20 “I was just wondering why you stabbed him. Not that 21 I object.” With his chin, he gestured to the knife on the 22 counter. 23 “Dang! I thought I got everything.” 24 I pulled away from him and ran to put the knife in the 25 sink before I doused it with bleach. 26 “I didn’t stab him,” I explained as I worked. “He forgot 27 he had a knife in his hand.” 28 Edward chuckled. “That’s not nearly as fun as the way sh 29 I imagined it.” reg 30 224 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 225 “Be nice.” 1 He took a big envelope from his jacket pocket and 2 tossed it on the counter. “I got your mail.” 3 “Anything good?” 4 “I think so.” 5 My eyes narrowed suspiciously at his tone. I went to in- 6 vestigate. 7 He’d folded the legal-sized envelope in half. I 8 smoothed it open, surprised at the weight of the expensive 9 paper, and read the return address. 10 “Dartmouth? Is this a joke?” 11 “I’m sure it’s an acceptance. It looks exactly like mine.” 12 “Good grief, Edward — what did you do?” 13 “I sent in your application, that’s all.” 14 “I may not be Dartmouth material, but I’m not stupid 15 enough to believe that.” 16 “Dartmouth seems to think that you’re Dartmouth 17 material.” 18 I took a deep breath and counted slowly to ten. “That’s 19 very generous of them,” I finally said. “However, accepted 20 or not, there is still the minor matter of tuition. I can’t af- 21 ford it, and I’m not letting you throw away enough money 22 to buy yourself another sports car just so that I can pretend 23 to go to Dartmouth next year.” 24 “I don’t need another sports car. And you don’t have to 25 pretend anything,” he murmured. “One year of college 26 wouldn’t kill you. Maybe you’d even like it. Just think 27 about it, Bella. Imagine how excited Charlie and Renée 28 would be. . . .” 29 sh 30 reg 225 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 226 1 His velvet voice painted the picture in my head before 2 I could block it. Of course Charlie would explode with 3 pride — no one in the town of Forks would be able to es- 4 cape the fallout from his excitement. And Renée would be 5 hysterical with joy at my triumph — though she’d swear 6 she wasn’t at all surprised. . . . 7 8 I tried to shake the image out of my head. “Edward. 9 I’m worried about living through graduation, let alone 10 this summer or next fall.” 11 12 His arms wrapped around me again. “No one is going 13 to hurt you. You have all the time in the world.” 14 15 I sighed. “I’m mailing the contents of my bank account 16 to Alaska tomorrow. It’s all the alibi I need. It’s far enough 17 away that Charlie won’t expect a visit until Christmas at 18 the earliest. And I’m sure I’ll think of some excuse by 19 then. You know,” I teased halfheartedly, “this whole se- 20 crecy and deception thing is kind of a pain.” 21 22 Edward’s expression hardened. “It gets easier. After a 23 few decades, everyone you know is dead. Problem solved.” 24 25 I flinched. 26 “Sorry, that was harsh.” 27 I stared down at the big white envelope, not seeing it. 28 “But still true.” sh 29 “If I get this resolved, whatever it is we’re dealing reg 30 with, will you please consider waiting?” “Nope.” “Always so stubborn.” “Yep.” The washing machine thumped and stuttered to a halt. “Stupid piece of junk,” I muttered as I pulled away 226 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 227 from him. I moved the one small towel that had unbal- 1 anced the otherwise empty machine, and started it again. 2 3 “This reminds me,” I said. “Could you ask Alice what 4 she did with my stuff when she cleaned my room? I can’t 5 find it anywhere.” 6 7 He looked at me with confused eyes. “Alice cleaned 8 your room?” 9 10 “Yeah, I guess that’s what she was doing. When she 11 came to get my pajamas and pillow and stuff to hold me 12 hostage.” I glowered at him briefly. “She picked up every- 13 thing that was lying around, my shirts, my socks, and I 14 don’t know where she put them.” 15 16 Edward continued to look confused for one short mo- 17 ment, and then, abruptly, he was rigid. 18 19 “When did you notice your things were missing?” 20 “When I got back from the fake slumber party. Why?” 21 “I don’t think Alice took anything. Not your clothes, 22 or your pillow. The things that were taken, these were 23 things you’d worn . . . and touched . . . and slept on?” 24 “Yes. What is it, Edward?” 25 His expression was strained. “Things with your scent.” 26 “Oh!” 27 We stared into each others eyes for a long moment. 28 “My visitor,” I muttered. 29 sh “He was gathering traces . . . evidence. To prove that 30 reg he’d found you?” “Why?” I whispered. “I don’t know. But, Bella, I swear I will find out. I will.” “I know you will,” I said, laying my head against his chest. Leaning there, I felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. 227 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 228 1 He pulled out his phone and glanced at the number. 2 “Just the person I need to talk to,” he murmured, and then 3 he flipped it open. “Carlisle, I —” He broke off and lis- 4 tened, his face taut with concentration for a few minutes. 5 “I’ll check it out. Listen . . .” 6 7 He explained about my missing things, but from the 8 side I was hearing, it sounded like Carlisle had no insights 9 for us. 10 11 “Maybe I’ll go . . . ,” Edward said, trailing off as his 12 eyes drifted toward me. “Maybe not. Don’t let Emmett go 13 alone, you know how he gets. At least ask Alice keep an 14 eye on things. We’ll figure this out later.” 15 16 He snapped the phone shut. “Where’s the paper?” he 17 asked me. 18 19 “Um, I’m not sure. Why?” 20 “I need to see something. Did Charlie already throw 21 it out?” 22 “Maybe. . . .” 23 Edward disappeared. 24 He was back in half a second, new diamonds in his hair, 25 a wet newspaper in his hands. He spread it out on the 26 table, his eyes scanning quickly across the headlines. He 27 leaned in, intent on something he was reading, one finger 28 tracing passages that interested him most. sh 29 “Carlisle’s right . . . yes . . . very sloppy. Young and reg 30 crazed? Or a death wish?” he muttered to himself. I went to peek over his shoulder. The headline of the Seattle Times read: “Murder Epi- demic Continues — Police Have No New Leads.” 228 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 229 It was almost the same story Charlie had been com- 1 plaining about a few weeks ago — the big-city violence 2 that was pushing Seattle up the national murder hot-spot 3 list. It wasn’t exactly the same story, though. The numbers 4 were a lot higher. 5 6 “It’s getting worse,” I murmured. 7 He frowned. “Altogether out of control. This can’t be 8 the work of just one newborn vampire. What’s going on? 9 It’s as if they’ve never heard of the Volturi. Which is pos- 10 sible, I guess. No one has explained the rules to them . . . 11 so who is creating them, then?” 12 “The Volturi?” I repeated, shuddering. 13 “This is exactly the kind of thing they routinely wipe 14 out — immortals who threaten to expose us. They just 15 cleaned up a mess like this a few years ago in Atlanta, and 16 it hadn’t gotten nearly this bad. They will intervene soon, 17 very soon, unless we can find some way to calm the situa- 18 tion. I’d really rather they didn’t come to Seattle just now. 19 As long as they’re this close . . . they might decide to check 20 on you.” 21 I shuddered again. “What can we do?” 22 “We need to know more before we can decide that. Per- 23 haps if we can talk to these young ones, explain the rules, 24 it can be resolved peacefully.” He frowned, like he didn’t 25 think the chances of that were good. “We’ll wait until Alice 26 has an idea of what’s going on. . . . We don’t want to step in 27 until it’s absolutely necessary. After all, it’s not our respon- 28 sibility. But it’s good we have Jasper,” he added, almost to 29 sh himself. “If we are dealing with newborns, he’ll be helpful.” 30 reg 229 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 230 1 “Jasper? Why?” 2 Edward smiled darkly. “Jasper is sort of an expert on 3 young vampires.” 4 “What do you mean, an expert?” 5 “You’ll have to ask him — the story is involved.” 6 “What a mess,” I mumbled. 7 “It does feel that way, doesn’t it? Like it’s coming at us 8 from all sides these days.” He sighed. “Do you ever think 9 that your life might be easier if you weren’t in love with 10 me?” 11 “Maybe. It wouldn’t be much of a life, though.” 12 “For me,” he amended quietly. “And now, I suppose,” 13 he continued with a wry smile, “you have something you 14 want to ask me?” 15 I stared at him blankly. “I do?” 16 “Or maybe not.” He grinned. “I was rather under the 17 impression that you’d promised to ask my permission to 18 go to some kind of werewolf soirée tonight.” 19 “Eavesdropping again?” 20 He grinned. “Just a bit, at the very end.” 21 “Well, I wasn’t going to ask you anyway. I figured you 22 had enough to stress about.” 23 He put his hand under my chin, and held my face so 24 that he could read my eyes. “Would you like to go?” 25 “It’s no big thing. Don’t worry about it.” 26 “You don’t have to ask my permission, Bella. I’m not 27 your father — thank heaven for that. Perhaps you should 28 ask Charlie, though.” sh 29 “But you know Charlie will say yes.” reg 30 230 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 231 “I do have a bit more insight into his probable answer 1 than most people would, it’s true.” 2 3 I just stared at him, trying to understand what he 4 wanted, and trying to put out of my mind the yearning I 5 felt to go to La Push so that I wouldn’t be swayed by my 6 own wishes. It was stupid to want to go hang out with a 7 bunch of big idiot wolf-boys right now when there was so 8 much that was frightening and unexplained going on. Of 9 course, that was exactly why I wanted to go. I wanted to es- 10 cape the death threats, for just a few hours . . . to be the 11 less-mature, more-reckless Bella who could laugh it off 12 with Jacob, if only briefly. But that didn’t matter. 13 14 “Bella,” Edward said. “I told you that I was going to be 15 reasonable and trust your judgment. I meant that. If you 16 trust the werewolves, then I’m not going to worry about 17 them.” 18 19 “Wow,” I said, as I had last night. 20 “And Jacob’s right — about one thing, anyway — a 21 pack of werewolves ought to be enough to protect even 22 you for one evening.” 23 “Are you sure?” 24 “Of course. Only . . .” 25 I braced myself. 26 “I hope you won’t mind taking a few precautions? Al- 27 lowing me to drive you to the boundary line, for one. And 28 then taking a cell phone, so that I’ll know when to pick 29 sh you up?” 30 reg “That sounds . . . very reasonable.” “Excellent.” 231 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 232 1 He smiled at me, and I could see no trace of apprehen- 2 sion in his jewel-like eyes. 3 4 To no one’s surprise, Charlie had no problem at all with 5 me going to La Push for a bonfire. Jacob crowed with 6 undisguised exultation when I called to give him the 7 news, and he seemed eager enough to embrace Edward’s 8 safety measures. He promised to meet us at the line be- 9 tween territories at six. 10 11 I had decided, after a short internal debate, that I 12 would not sell my motorcycle. I would take it back to La 13 Push where it belonged and, when I no longer needed it 14 anymore . . . well, then, I would insist that Jacob profit 15 from his work somehow. He could sell it or give it to a 16 friend. It didn’t matter to me. 17 18 Tonight seemed like a good opportunity to return the 19 bike to Jacob’s garage. As gloomy as I was feeling about 20 things lately, every day seemed like a possible last chance. 21 I didn’t have time to procrastinate any task, no matter how 22 minor. 23 24 Edward only nodded when I explained what I wanted, 25 but I thought I saw a flicker of consternation in his eyes, 26 and I knew he was no happier about the idea of me on a 27 motorcycle than Charlie was. 28 sh 29 I followed him back to his house, to the garage where reg 30 I’d left the bike. It wasn’t until I pulled the truck in and got out that I realized the consternation might not be en- tirely about my safety this time. Next to my little antique motorcycle, overshadowing it, was another vehicle. To call this other vehicle a motor- 232 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 233 cycle hardly seemed fair, since it didn’t seem to belong to 1 the same family as my suddenly shabby-looking bike. 2 3 It was big and sleek and silver and — even totally mo- 4 tionless — it looked fast. 5 6 “What is that?” 7 “Nothing,” Edward murmured. 8 “It doesn’t look like nothing.” 9 Edward’s expression was casual; he seemed determined 10 to blow it off. “Well, I didn’t know if you were going to 11 forgive your friend, or he you, and I wondered if you 12 would still want to ride your bike anyway. It sounded like 13 it was something that you enjoyed. I thought I could go 14 with you, if you wished.” He shrugged. 15 I stared at the beautiful machine. Beside it, my bike 16 looked like a broken tricycle. I felt a sudden wave of sad- 17 ness when I realized that this was not a bad analogy for the 18 way I probably looked next to Edward. 19 “I wouldn’t be able to keep up with you,” I whispered. 20 Edward put his hand under my chin and pulled my 21 face around so that he could see it straight on. With one 22 finger, he tried to push the corner of my mouth up. 23 “I’d keep pace with you, Bella.” 24 “That wouldn’t be much fun for you.” 25 “Of course it would, if we were together.” 26 I bit my lip and imagined it for a moment. “Edward, if 27 you thought I was going too fast or losing control of the 28 bike or something, what would you do?” 29 sh He hesitated, obviously trying to find the right answer. 30 reg I knew the truth: he’d find some way to save me before I crashed. 233 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 234 1 Then he smiled. It looked effortless, except for the tiny 2 defensive tightening of his eyes. 3 4 “This is something you do with Jacob. I see that now.” 5 “It’s just that, well, I don’t slow him down so much, 6 you know. I could try, I guess. . . .” 7 I eyed the silver motorcycle doubtfully. 8 “Don’t worry about it,” Edward said, and then he 9 laughed lightly. “I saw Jasper admiring it. Perhaps it’s 10 time he discovered a new way to travel. After all, Alice has 11 her Porsche now.” 12 “Edward, I —” 13 He interrupted me with a quick kiss. “I said not to 14 worry. But would you do something for me?” 15 “Whatever you need,” I promised quickly. 16 He dropped my face and leaned over the far side of 17 the big motorcycle, retrieving something he had stashed 18 there. 19 He came back with one object that was black and 20 shapeless, and another that was red and easily identifiable. 21 “Please?” he asked, flashing the crooked smile that al- 22 ways destroyed my resistance. 23 I took the red helmet, weighing it in my hands. “I’ll 24 look stupid.” 25 “No, you’ll look smart. Smart enough not to get your- 26 self hurt.” He threw the black thing, whatever it was, over 27 his arm and then took my face in his hands. “There are 28 things between my hands right now that I can’t live with- sh 29 out. You could take care of them.” reg 30 “Okay, fine. What’s that other thing?” I asked suspi- ciously. 234 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 235 He laughed and shook out some kind of padded jacket. 1 “It’s a riding jacket. I hear road rash is quite uncomfort- 2 able, not that I would know myself.” 3 4 He held it out for me. With a deep sigh, I flipped my 5 hair back and stuffed the helmet on my head. Then I 6 shoved my arms through the sleeves of the jacket. He 7 zipped me in, a smile playing around the corners of his 8 lips, and took a step back. 9 10 I felt bulky. 11 “Be honest, how hideous do I look?” 12 He took another step back and pursed his lips. 13 “That bad, huh?” I muttered. 14 “No, no, Bella. Actually . . .” he seemed to be strug- 15 gling for the right word. “You look . . . sexy.” 16 I laughed out loud. “Right.” 17 “Very sexy, really.” 18 “You are just saying that so that I’ll wear it,” I said. 19 “But that’s okay. You’re right, it’s smarter.” 20 He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me against 21 his chest. “You’re silly. I suppose that’s part of your charm. 22 Though, I’ll admit it, this helmet does have its draw- 23 backs.” 24 And then he pulled the helmet off so that he could 25 kiss me. 26 27 As Edward drove me toward La Push a little while later, I 28 realized that this unprecedented situation felt oddly fa- 29 sh miliar. It took me a moment of thought to pinpoint the 30 reg source of the déjà vu. “You know what this reminds me of?” I asked. “It’s just 235 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 236 1 like when I was a kid and Renée would pass me off to 2 Charlie for the summer. I feel like a seven-year-old.” 3 4 Edward laughed. 5 I didn’t mention it out loud, but the biggest difference 6 between the two circumstances was that Renée and Char- 7 lie had been on better terms. 8 About halfway to La Push, we rounded the corner and 9 found Jacob leaning against the side of the red Volkswa- 10 gen he’d built for himself out of scraps. Jacob’s carefully 11 neutral expression dissolved into a smile when I waved 12 from the front seat. 13 Edward parked the Volvo thirty yards away. 14 “Call me whenever you’re ready to come home,” he 15 said. “And I’ll be here.” 16 “I won’t be out late,” I promised. 17 Edward pulled the bike and my new gear out of the 18 trunk of his car — I’d been quite impressed that it had all 19 fit. But it wasn’t so hard to manage when you were strong 20 enough to juggle full-sized vans, let alone small motorcycles. 21 Jacob watched, making no move to approach, his smile 22 gone and his dark eyes indecipherable. 23 I tucked the helmet under my arm and threw the 24 jacket across the seat. 25 “Do you have it all?” Edward asked. 26 “No problem,” I assured him. 27 He sighed and leaned toward me. I turned my face up 28 for a goodbye peck, but Edward took me by surprise, fas- sh 29 tening his arms tightly around me and kissing me with as reg 30 much enthusiasm as he had in the garage — before long, I was gasping for air. 236 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 237 Edward laughed quietly at something, and then let 1 me go. 2 3 “Goodbye,” he said. “I really do like the jacket.” 4 As I turned away from him, I thought I saw a flash of 5 something in his eyes that I wasn’t supposed to see. I 6 couldn’t tell for sure what it was exactly. Worry, maybe. 7 For a second I thought it was panic. But I was probably 8 just making something out of nothing, as usual. 9 I could feel his eyes on my back as I pushed my bike 10 toward the invisible vampire-werewolf treaty line to meet 11 Jacob. 12 “What’s all that?” Jacob called to me, his voice wary, 13 scrutinizing the motorcycle with an enigmatic expression. 14 “I thought I should put this back where it belongs,” I 15 told him. 16 He pondered that for one short second, and then his 17 wide smile stretched across his face. 18 I knew the exact point that I was in werewolf territory 19 because Jacob shoved away from his car and loped quickly 20 over to me, closing the distance in three long strides. He 21 took the bike from me, balanced it on the kickstand, and 22 grabbed me up in another vice-tight hug. 23 I heard the Volvo’s engine growl, and I struggled to get 24 free. 25 “Cut it out, Jake!” I gasped breathlessly. 26 He laughed and set me down. I turned to wave good- 27 bye, but the silver car was already disappearing around the 28 curve in the road. 29 sh “Nice,” I commented, allowing some acid to leak into 30 reg my voice. 237 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 238 1 His eyes widened in false innocence. “What?” 2 “He’s being pretty dang pleasant about this; you don’t 3 need to push your luck.” 4 He laughed again, louder than before — he found what 5 I’d said very funny indeed. I tried to see the joke as he 6 walked around the Rabbit to hold my door open for me. 7 “Bella,” he finally said — still chuckling — as he shut 8 the door behind me, “you can’t push what you don’t have.” 9 10 238 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 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 239 11. LEGENDS 1 2 “Are you gonna eat that hot dog?” Paul asked Ja- 3 cob, his eyes locked on the last remnant of the huge meal 4 the werewolves had consumed. 5 6 Jacob leaned back against my knees and toyed with the 7 hot dog he had spitted on a straightened wire hanger; the 8 flames at the edge of the bonfire licked along its blistered 9 skin. He heaved a sigh and patted his stomach. It was 10 somehow still flat, though I’d lost count of how many hot 11 dogs he’d eaten after his tenth. Not to mention the super- 12 sized bag of chips or the two-liter bottle of root beer. 13 14 “I guess,” Jake said slowly. “I’m so full I’m about to 15 puke, but I think I can force it down. I won’t enjoy it at all, 16 though.” He sighed again sadly. 17 18 239 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 240 1 Despite the fact that Paul had eaten at least as much as 2 Jacob, he glowered and his hands balled up into fists. 3 4 “Sheesh.” Jacob laughed. “Kidding, Paul. Here.” 5 He flipped the homemade skewer across the circle. I ex- 6 pected it to land hot-dog-first in the sand, but Paul caught 7 it neatly on the right end without difficulty. 8 Hanging out with no one but extremely dexterous 9 people all the time was going to give me a complex. 10 “Thanks, man,” Paul said, already over his brief fit of 11 temper. 12 The fire crackled, settling lower toward the sand. 13 Sparks blew up in a sudden puff of brilliant orange against 14 the black sky. Funny, I hadn’t noticed that the sun had set. 15 For the first time, I wondered how late it had gotten. I’d 16 lost track of time completely. 17 It was easier being with my Quileute friends than I’d 18 expected. 19 While Jacob and I had dropped off my bike at the 20 garage — and he had admitted ruefully that the helmet 21 was a good idea that he should have thought of himself — 22 I’d started to worry about showing up with him at the 23 bonfire, wondering if the werewolves would consider me a 24 traitor now. Would they be angry with Jacob for inviting 25 me? Would I ruin the party? 26 But when Jacob had towed me out of the forest to the 27 clifftop meeting place — where the fire already roared 28 brighter than the cloud-obscured sun — it had all been sh 29 very casual and light. reg 30 “Hey, vampire girl!” Embry had greeted me loudly. 240 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 241 Quil had jumped up to give me a high five and kiss me on 1 the cheek. Emily had squeezed my hand when we’d sat on 2 the cool stone ground beside her and Sam. 3 4 Other than a few teasing complaints — mostly by 5 Paul — about keeping the bloodsucker stench downwind, 6 I was treated like someone who belonged. 7 8 It wasn’t just kids in attendance, either. Billy was here, 9 his wheelchair stationed at what seemed the natural head 10 of the circle. Beside him on a folding lawn chair, looking 11 quite brittle, was Quil’s ancient, white-haired grandfa- 12 ther, Old Quil. Sue Clearwater, widow of Charlie’s friend 13 Harry, had a chair on his other side; her two children, Leah 14 and Seth, were also there, sitting on the ground like the 15 rest of us. This surprised me, but all three were clearly in 16 on the secret now. From the way Billy and Old Quil spoke 17 to Sue, it sounded to me like she’d taken Harry’s place on 18 the council. Did that make her children automatic mem- 19 bers of La Push’s most secret society? 20 21 I wondered how horrible it was for Leah to sit across 22 the circle from Sam and Emily. Her lovely face betrayed no 23 emotion, but she never looked away from the flames. 24 Looking at the perfection of Leah’s features, I couldn’t help 25 but compare them to Emily’s ruined face. What did Leah 26 think of Emily’s scars, now that she knew the truth behind 27 them? Did it seem like justice in her eyes? 28 29 sh Little Seth Clearwater wasn’t so little anymore. With 30 reg his huge, happy grin and his long, gangly build, he re- minded me very much of a younger Jacob. The resem- blance made me smile, and then sigh. Was Seth doomed 241 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 242 1 to have his life change as drastically as the rest of these 2 boys? Was that future why he and his family were allowed 3 to be here? 4 5 The whole pack was there: Sam with his Emily, Paul, 6 Embry, Quil, and Jared with Kim, the girl he’d imprinted 7 upon. 8 9 My first impression of Kim was that she was a nice girl, 10 a little shy, and a little plain. She had a wide face, mostly 11 cheekbones, with eyes too small to balance them out. Her 12 nose and mouth were both too broad for traditional 13 beauty. Her flat black hair was thin and wispy in the wind 14 that never seemed to let up atop the cliff. 15 16 That was my first impression. But after a few hours of 17 watching Jared watch Kim, I could no longer find any- 18 thing plain about the girl. 19 20 The way he stared at her! It was like a blind man see- 21 ing the sun for the first time. Like a collector finding an 22 undiscovered Da Vinci, like a mother looking into the face 23 of her newborn child. 24 25 His wondering eyes made me see new things about 26 her — how her skin looked like russet-colored silk in the 27 firelight, how the shape of her lips was a perfect double 28 curve, how white her teeth were against them, how long sh 29 her eyelashes were, brushing her cheek when she looked reg 30 down. Kim’s skin sometimes darkened when she met Jared’s awed gaze, and her eyes would drop as if in embarrass- ment, but she had a hard time keeping her eyes away from his for any length of time. Watching them, I felt like I better understood what 242 3rd Pass Pages

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