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Stephenie Meyer - Eclipse

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Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 43 “Charlie didn’t throw a fit when you picked me up for 1 school.” 2 3 But I was sure Charlie was going to turn sulky fast 4 when he got home and found Edward here. Maybe I 5 should make something extra-special for dinner. 6 7 Inside, I headed up the stairs, and Edward followed. He 8 lounged on my bed and gazed out the window, seeming 9 oblivious to my edginess. 10 11 I stowed my bag and turned the computer on. There 12 was an unanswered e-mail from my mom to attend to, 13 and she got panicky when I took too long. I drummed 14 my fingers as I waited for my decrepit computer to 15 wheeze awake; they snapped against the desk, staccato and 16 anxious. 17 18 And then his fingers were on mine, holding them still. 19 “Are we a little impatient today?” he murmured. 20 I looked up, intending to make a sarcastic remark, but 21 his face was closer than I’d expected. His golden eyes were 22 smoldering, just inches away, and his breath was cool 23 against my open lips. I could taste his scent on my tongue. 24 I couldn’t remember the witty response I’d been about 25 to make. I couldn’t remember my name. 26 He didn’t give me a chance to recover. 27 If I had my way, I would spend the majority of my time 28 kissing Edward. There wasn’t anything I’d experienced in 29 sh my life that compared to the feeling of his cool lips, mar- 30 reg ble hard but always so gentle, moving with mine. I didn’t often get my way. So it surprised me a little when his fingers braided themselves into my hair, securing my face to his. My arms 43 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 44 1 locked behind his neck, and I wished I was stronger — 2 strong enough to keep him prisoner here. One hand slid 3 down my back, pressing me tighter against his stone 4 chest. Even through his sweater, his skin was cold enough 5 to make me shiver — it was a shiver of pleasure, of happi- 6 ness, but his hands began to loosen in response. 7 8 I knew I had about three seconds before he would sigh 9 and slide me deftly away, saying something about how 10 we’d risked my life enough for one afternoon. Making the 11 most of my last seconds, I crushed myself closer, molding 12 myself to the shape of him. The tip of my tongue traced 13 the curve of his lower lip; it was as flawlessly smooth as if 14 it had been polished, and the taste — 15 16 He pulled my face away from his, breaking my hold 17 with ease — he probably didn’t even realize that I was us- 18 ing all my strength. 19 20 He chuckled once, a low, throaty sound. His eyes were 21 bright with the excitement he so rigidly disciplined. 22 23 “Ah, Bella.” He sighed. 24 “I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m not.” 25 “And I should feel sorry that you’re not sorry, but I 26 don’t. Maybe I should go sit on the bed.” 27 I exhaled a little dizzily. “If you think that’s neces- 28 sary. . . .” sh 29 He smiled crookedly and disentangled himself. reg 30 I shook my head a few times, trying to clear it, and turned back to my computer. It was all warmed up and humming now. Well, not as much humming as groaning. “Tell Renée I said hello.” “Sure thing.” 44 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 45 I scanned through Renée’s e-mail, shaking my head 1 now and then at some of the dippier things she’d done. I 2 was just as entertained and horrified as the first time I’d 3 read this. It was so like my mother to forget exactly how 4 paralyzed she was by heights until she was already strapped 5 to a parachute and a dive instructor. I felt a little frustrated 6 with Phil, her husband of almost two years, for allowing 7 that one. I would have taken better care of her. I knew her 8 so much better. 9 10 You have to let them go their own way eventually, I re- 11 minded myself. You have to let them have their own 12 life. . . . 13 14 I’d spent most of my life taking care of Renée, pa- 15 tiently guiding her away from her craziest plans, good- 16 naturedly enduring the ones I couldn’t talk her out of. 17 I’d always been indulgent with my mom, amused by her, 18 even a little condescending to her. I saw her cornucopia of 19 mistakes and laughed privately to myself. Scatterbrained 20 Renée. 21 22 I was a very different person from my mother. Someone 23 thoughtful and cautious. The responsible one, the grown- 24 up. That’s how I saw myself. That was the person I knew. 25 26 With the blood still pounding in my head from Ed- 27 ward’s kiss, I couldn’t help but think of my mother’s most 28 life-altering mistake. Silly and romantic, getting married 29 sh fresh out of high school to a man she barely knew, then 30 reg producing me a year later. She’d always promised me that she had no regrets, that I was the best gift her life had ever given her. And yet she’d drilled it into me over and over — smart people took marriage seriously. Mature 45 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 46 1 people went to college and started careers before they got 2 deeply involved in a relationship. She knew I would never 3 be as thoughtless and goofy and small-town as she’d been. . . . 4 5 I gritted my teeth and tried to concentrate as I an- 6 swered her letter. 7 8 Then I hit her parting line and remembered why I’d 9 neglected to write sooner. 10 11 You haven’t said anything about Jacob in a long time, she’d 12 written. What’s he up to these days? 13 14 Charlie was prompting her, I was sure. 15 I sighed and typed quickly, tucking the answer to her 16 question between two less sensitive paragraphs. 17 18 Jacob is fine, I guess. I don’t see him 19 much; he spends most of his time with a 20 pack of his friends down at La Push these 21 days. 22 23 Smiling wryly to myself, I added Edward’s greeting and 24 hit “send.” 25 26 I didn’t realize that Edward was standing silently be- 27 hind me again until after I’d turned off the computer and 28 shoved away from the desk. I was about to scold him for sh 29 reading over my shoulder when I realized that he wasn’t reg 30 paying any attention to me. He was examining a flat black box with wires curling crookedly away from the main square in a way that didn’t look healthy for whatever it was. After a second, I recognized the car stereo Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper had given me for my last birthday. I’d 46 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 47 forgotten about the birthday presents hiding under a 1 growing pile of dust on the floor of my closet. 2 3 “What did you do to this?” he asked in a horrorstruck 4 voice. 5 6 “It didn’t want to come out of the dashboard.” 7 “So you felt the need to torture it?” 8 “You know how I am with tools. No pain was inflicted 9 intentionally.” 10 He shook his head, his face a mask of faux tragedy. 11 “You killed it.” 12 I shrugged. “Oh, well.” 13 “It would hurt their feelings if they saw this,” he said. 14 “I guess it’s a good thing that you’ve been on house arrest. 15 I’ll have to get another one in place before they notice.” 16 “Thanks, but I don’t need a fancy stereo.” 17 “It’s not for your sake that I’m going to replace it.” 18 I sighed. 19 “You didn’t get much good out of your birthday pres- 20 ents last year,” he said in a disgruntled voice. Suddenly, he 21 was fanning himself with a stiff rectangle of paper. 22 I didn’t answer, for fear my voice would shake. My 23 disastrous eighteenth birthday — with all its far-reaching 24 consequences — wasn’t something I cared to remember, 25 and I was surprised that he would bring it up. He was 26 even more sensitive about it than I was. 27 “Do you realize these are about to expire?” he asked, 28 holding the paper out to me. It was another present — the 29 sh voucher for airplane tickets that Esme and Carlisle had 30 reg given me so that I could visit Renée in Florida. 47 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 48 1 I took a deep breath and answered in a flat voice. “No. 2 I’d forgotten all about them, actually.” 3 4 His expression was carefully bright and positive; there 5 was no trace of any deep emotion as he continued. “Well, 6 we still have a little time. You’ve been liberated . . . and 7 we have no plans this weekend, as you refuse to go to the 8 prom with me.” He grinned. “Why not celebrate your 9 freedom this way?” 10 11 I gasped. “By going to Florida?” 12 “You did say something about the continental U.S. be- 13 ing allowable.” 14 I glared at him, suspicious, trying to understand where 15 this had come from. 16 “Well?” he demanded. “Are we going to see Renée 17 or not?” 18 “Charlie will never allow it.” 19 “Charlie can’t keep you from visiting your mother. She 20 still has primary custody.” 21 “Nobody has custody of me. I’m an adult.” 22 He flashed a brilliant smile. “Exactly.” 23 I thought it over for a short minute before deciding 24 that it wasn’t worth the fight. Charlie would be furious — 25 not that I was going to see Renée, but that Edward was 26 going with me. Charlie wouldn’t speak to me for months, 27 and I’d probably end up grounded again. It was definitely 28 smarter not to even bring it up. Maybe in a few weeks, as sh 29 a graduation favor or something. reg 30 But the idea of seeing my mother now, not weeks from now, was hard to resist. It had been so long since I’d seen Renée. And even longer since I’d seen her under pleasant 48 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 49 circumstances. The last time I’d been with her in Phoenix, 1 I’d spent the whole time in a hospital bed. The last time 2 she’d come here, I’d been more or less catatonic. Not ex- 3 actly the best memories to leave her with. 4 5 And maybe, if she saw how happy I was with Edward, 6 she would tell Charlie to ease up. 7 8 Edward scrutinized my face while I deliberated. 9 I sighed. “Not this weekend.” 10 “Why not?” 11 “I don’t want to fight with Charlie. Not so soon after 12 he’s forgiven me.” 13 His eyebrows pulled together. “I think this weekend is 14 perfect,” he muttered. 15 I shook my head. “Another time.” 16 “You aren’t the only one who’s been trapped in this 17 house, you know.” He frowned at me. 18 Suspicion returned. This kind of behavior was unlike 19 him. He was always so impossibly selfless; I knew it was 20 making me spoiled. 21 “You can go anywhere you want,” I pointed out. 22 “The outside world holds no interest for me with- 23 out you.” 24 I rolled my eyes at the hyperbole. 25 “I’m serious,” he said. 26 “Let’s take the outside world slowly, all right? For ex- 27 ample, we could start with a movie in Port Angeles. . . .” 28 He groaned. “Never mind. We’ll talk about it later.” 29 sh “There’s nothing left to talk about.” 30 reg He shrugged. “Okay, then, new subject,” I said. I’d almost forgotten 49 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 50 1 my worries about this afternoon — had that been his in- 2 tention? “What did Alice see today at lunch?” 3 4 My eyes were fixed on his face as I spoke, measuring his 5 reaction. 6 7 His expression was composed; there was only the 8 slightest hardening of his topaz eyes. “She’s been seeing 9 Jasper in a strange place, somewhere in the southwest, she 10 thinks, near his former . . . family. But he has no conscious 11 intentions to go back.” He sighed. “It’s got her worried.” 12 13 “Oh.” That was nothing close to what I’d been expect- 14 ing. But of course it made sense that Alice would be 15 watching out for Jasper’s future. He was her soul mate, 16 her true other half, though they weren’t as flamboyant 17 about their relationship as Rosalie and Emmett were. 18 “Why didn’t you tell me before?” 19 20 “I didn’t realize you’d noticed,” he said. “It’s probably 21 nothing important, in any case.” 22 23 My imagination was sadly out of control. I’d taken a 24 perfectly normal afternoon and twisted it until it looked 25 like Edward was going out of his way to keep things from 26 me. I needed therapy. 27 28 We went downstairs to work on our homework, just in sh 29 case Charlie showed up early. Edward finished in minutes; reg 30 I slogged laboriously through my calculus until I decided it was time to fix Charlie’s dinner. Edward helped, making faces every so often at the raw ingredients — human food was mildly repulsive to him. I made stroganoff from Grandma Swan’s recipe, because I was sucking up. It wasn’t one of my favorites, but it would please Charlie. 50 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 51 Charlie seemed to already be in a good mood when he 1 got home. He didn’t even go out of his way to be rude to 2 Edward. Edward excused himself from eating with us, as 3 usual. The sound of the nightly news drifted from the 4 front room, but I doubted Edward was really watching. 5 6 After forcing down three helpings, Charlie kicked his 7 feet up on the spare chair and folded his hands contentedly 8 across his distended stomach. 9 10 “That was great, Bells.” 11 “I’m glad you liked it. How was work?” He’d been eat- 12 ing with too much concentration for me to make conver- 13 sation before. 14 “Sort of slow. Well, dead slow really. Mark and I played 15 cards for a good part of the afternoon,” he admitted with a 16 grin. “I won, nineteen hands to seven. And then I was on 17 the phone with Billy for a while.” 18 I tried to keep my expression the same. “How is he?” 19 “Good, good. His joints are bothering him a little.” 20 “Oh. That’s too bad.” 21 “Yeah. He invited us down to visit this weekend. He 22 was thinking of having the Clearwaters and the Uleys over 23 too. Sort of a playoff party. . . .” 24 “Huh,” was my genius response. But what could I say? 25 I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to hit a werewolf party, even 26 with parental supervision. I wondered if Edward would 27 have a problem with Charlie hanging out in La Push. Or 28 would he suppose that, since Charlie was mostly spending 29 sh time with Billy, who was only human, my father wouldn’t 30 reg be in danger? 51 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 52 1 I got up and piled the dishes together without looking 2 at Charlie. I dumped them into the sink and started the 3 water. Edward appeared silently and grabbed a dishtowel. 4 5 Charlie sighed and gave up for the moment, though I 6 imagined he would revisit the subject when we were alone 7 again. He heaved himself to his feet and headed for the 8 TV, just like every other night. 9 10 “Charlie,” Edward said in a conversational tone. 11 Charlie stopped in the middle of his little kitchen. 12 “Yeah?” 13 “Did Bella ever tell you that my parents gave her air- 14 plane tickets on her last birthday, so that she could visit 15 Renée?” 16 I dropped the plate I was scrubbing. It glanced off the 17 counter and clattered noisily to the floor. It didn’t break, 18 but it spattered the room, and all three of us, with soapy 19 water. Charlie didn’t even seem to notice. 20 “Bella?” he asked in a stunned voice. 21 I kept my eyes on the plate as I retrieved it. “Yeah, 22 they did.” 23 Charlie swallowed loudly, and then his eyes narrowed 24 as he turned back to Edward. “No, she never mentioned it.” 25 “Hmm,” Edward murmured. 26 “Was there a reason you brought it up?” Charlie asked 27 in a hard voice. 28 Edward shrugged. “They’re about to expire. I think it sh 29 might hurt Esme’s feelings if Bella doesn’t use her gift. reg 30 Not that she’d say anything.” I stared at Edward in disbelief. Charlie thought for a minute. “It’s probably a good 52 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 53 idea for you to visit your mom, Bella. She’d love that. I’m 1 surprised you didn’t say anything about this, though.” 2 3 “I forgot,” I admitted. 4 He frowned. “You forgot that someone gave you plane 5 tickets?” 6 “Mmm,” I murmured vaguely, and turned back to the 7 sink. 8 “I noticed that you said they’re about to expire, Ed- 9 ward,” Charlie went on. “How many tickets did your par- 10 ents give her?” 11 “Just one for her . . . and one for me.” 12 The plate I dropped this time landed in the sink, so it 13 didn’t make as much noise. I could easily hear the sharp 14 huff as my father exhaled. The blood rushed into my face, 15 fueled by irritation and chagrin. Why was Edward doing 16 this? I glared at the bubbles in the sink, panicking. 17 “That’s out of the question!” Charlie was abruptly in a 18 rage, shouting the words. 19 “Why?” Edward asked, his voice saturated with inno- 20 cent surprise. “You just said it was a good idea for her to 21 see her mother.” 22 Charlie ignored him. “You’re not going anywhere with 23 him, young lady!” he yelled. I spun around and he was 24 jabbing a finger at me. 25 Anger pulsed through me automatically, an instinctive 26 reaction to his tone. 27 “I’m not a child, Dad. And I’m not grounded anymore, 28 remember?” 29 sh “Oh yes, you are. Starting now.” 30 reg “For what?!” 53 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 54 1 “Because I said so.” 2 “Do I need to remind you that I’m a legal adult, 3 Charlie?” 4 “This is my house — you follow my rules!” 5 My glare turned icy. “If that’s how you want it. Do you 6 want me to move out tonight? Or can I have a few days to 7 pack?” 8 Charlie’s face went bright red. I instantly felt horrible 9 for playing the move-out card. 10 I took a deep breath and tried to make my tone more 11 reasonable. “I’ll do my time without complaining when 12 I’ve done something wrong, Dad, but I’m not going to 13 put up with your prejudices.” 14 He sputtered, but managed nothing coherent. 15 “Now, I know that you know that I have every right to 16 see Mom for the weekend. You can’t honestly tell me you’d 17 object to the plan if I was going with Alice or Angela.” 18 “Girls,” he grunted, with a nod. 19 “Would it bother you if I took Jacob?” 20 I’d only picked the name because I knew of my father’s 21 preference for Jacob, but I quickly wished I hadn’t; Ed- 22 ward’s teeth clenched together with an audible snap. 23 My father struggled to compose himself before he an- 24 swered. “Yes,” he said in an unconvincing voice. “That 25 would bother me.” 26 “You’re a rotten liar, Dad.” 27 “Bella —” 28 “It’s not like I’m headed off to Vegas to be a showgirl sh 29 or anything. I’m going to see Mom,” I reminded him. reg 30 “She’s just as much my parental authority as you are.” 54 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 55 He threw me a withering look. 1 “Are you implying something about Mom’s ability to 2 look after me?” 3 Charlie flinched at the threat implicit in my question. 4 “You’d better hope I don’t mention this to her,” I said. 5 “You’d better not,” he warned. “I’m not happy about 6 this, Bella.” 7 “There’s no reason for you to be upset.” 8 He rolled his eyes, but I could tell the storm was over. 9 I turned to pull the plug out of the sink. “So my home- 10 work is done, your dinner is done, the dishes are done, and 11 I’m not grounded. I’m going out. I’ll be back before ten- 12 thirty.” 13 “Where are you going?” His face, almost back to nor- 14 mal, flushed light red again. 15 “I’m not sure,” I admitted. “I’ll keep it within a ten- 16 mile radius, though. Okay?” 17 He grunted something that did not sound like ap- 18 proval, and stalked out of the room. Naturally, as soon as 19 I’d won the fight, I began to feel guilty. 20 “We’re going out?” Edward asked, his voice low but 21 enthusiastic. 22 I turned to glower at him. “Yes. I think I’d like to 23 speak to you alone.” 24 He didn’t look as apprehensive as I thought he should. 25 I waited to begin until we were safely in his car. 26 “What was that?” I demanded. 27 “I know you want to see your mother, Bella — you’ve 28 been talking about her in your sleep. Worrying actually.” 29 sh “I have?” 30 reg 55 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 56 1 He nodded. “But, clearly, you were too much of a cow- 2 ard to deal with Charlie, so I interceded on your behalf.” 3 4 “Interceded? You threw me to the sharks!” 5 He rolled his eyes. “I don’t think you were in any 6 danger.” 7 “I told you I didn’t want to fight with Charlie.” 8 “Nobody said that you had to.” 9 I glowered at him. “I can’t help myself when he gets 10 all bossy like that — my natural teenage instincts over- 11 power me.” 12 He chuckled. “Well, that’s not my fault.” 13 I stared at him, speculating. He didn’t seem to notice. 14 His face was serene as he gazed out the windshield. Some- 15 thing was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Or maybe 16 it was just my imagination again, running wild like it had 17 this afternoon. 18 “Does this sudden urge to see Florida have anything to 19 do with the party at Billy’s place?” 20 His jaw flexed. “Nothing at all. It wouldn’t matter if 21 you were here or on the other side of the world, you still 22 wouldn’t be going.” 23 It was just like with Charlie before — just like being 24 treated as a misbehaving child. I gritted my teeth together 25 so I wouldn’t start shouting. I didn’t want to fight with 26 Edward, too. 27 Edward sighed, and when he spoke his voice was warm 28 and velvet again. “So what do you want to do tonight?” he sh 29 asked. reg 30 “Can we go to your house? I haven’t seen Esme in so long.” 56 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 57 He smiled. “She’ll like that. Especially when she hears 1 what we’re doing this weekend.” 2 3 I groaned in defeat. 4 5 We didn’t stay out late, as I’d promised. I was not sur- 6 prised to see the lights still on when we pulled up in front 7 of the house — I knew Charlie would be waiting to yell at 8 me some more. 9 10 “You’d better not come inside,” I said. “It will only 11 make things worse.” 12 13 “His thoughts are relatively calm,” Edward teased. His 14 expression made me wonder if there was some additional 15 joke I was missing. The corners of his mouth twitched, 16 fighting a smile. 17 18 “I’ll see you later,” I muttered glumly. 19 He laughed and kissed the top of my head. “I’ll be back 20 when Charlie’s snoring.” 21 The TV was loud when I got inside. I briefly consid- 22 ered trying to sneak past him. 23 “Could you come in here, Bella?” Charlie called, sink- 24 ing that plan. 25 My feet dragged as I took the five necessary steps. 26 “What’s up, Dad?” 27 “Did you have a nice time tonight?” he asked. He 28 seemed ill at ease. I looked for hidden meanings in his 29 sh words before I answered. 30 reg “Yes,” I said hesitantly. “What did you do?” I shrugged. “Hung out with Alice and Jasper. Edward beat Alice at chess, and then I played Jasper. He buried me.” 57 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 58 1 I smiled. Edward and Alice playing chess was one of 2 the funniest things I’d ever seen. They’d sat there nearly 3 motionless, staring at the board, while Alice foresaw the 4 moves he would make and he picked the moves she would 5 make in return out of her head. They played most of the 6 game in their minds; I think they’d each moved two 7 pawns when Alice suddenly flicked her king over and sur- 8 rendered. It took all of three minutes. 9 10 Charlie hit the mute button — an unusual action. 11 “Look, there’s something I need to say.” He frowned, 12 looking very uncomfortable. 13 I sat still, waiting. He met my gaze for a second before 14 shifting his eyes to the floor. He didn’t say anything more. 15 “What is it, Dad?” 16 He sighed. “I’m not good at this kind of thing. I don’t 17 know how to start. . . .” 18 I waited again. 19 “Okay, Bella. Here’s the thing.” He got up from the 20 couch and started pacing back and forth across the room, 21 looking as his feet all the time. “You and Edward seem 22 pretty serious, and there are some things that you need to 23 be careful about. I know you’re an adult now, but you’re 24 still young, Bella, and there are a lot of important things 25 you need to know when you . . . well, when you’re physi- 26 cally involved with —” 27 “Oh, please, please no!” I begged, jumping to my feet. 28 “Please tell me you are not trying to have a sex talk with sh 29 me, Charlie.” reg 30 He glared at the floor. “I am your father. I have respon- sibilities. Remember, I’m just as embarrassed as you are.” 58 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 59 “I don’t think that’s humanly possible. Anyway, Mom 1 beat you to the punch about ten years ago. You’re off the 2 hook.” 3 4 “Ten years ago you didn’t have a boyfriend,” he mut- 5 tered unwillingly. I could tell he was battling with his 6 desire to drop the subject. We were both standing up, 7 looking at the floor, and facing away from each other. 8 9 “I don’t think the essentials have changed that much,” 10 I mumbled, and my face had to be as red as his. This was 11 beyond the seventh circle of Hades; even worse was realiz- 12 ing that Edward had known this was coming. No wonder 13 he’d seemed so smug in the car. 14 15 “Just tell me that you two are being responsible,” 16 Charlie pled, obviously wishing a pit would open in the 17 floor so that he could fall in. 18 19 “Don’t worry about it, Dad, it’s not like that.” 20 “Not that I don’t trust you, Bella, but I know you don’t 21 want to tell me anything about this, and you know I don’t 22 really want to hear it. I will try to be open-minded, 23 though. I know the times have changed.” 24 I laughed awkwardly. “Maybe the times have, but Ed- 25 ward is very old-fashioned. You have nothing to worry 26 about.” 27 Charlie sighed. “Sure he is,” he muttered. 28 “Ugh!” I groaned. “I really wish you were not forcing 29 sh me to say this out loud, Dad. Really. But . . . I am a . . . 30 reg virgin, and I have no immediate plans to change that status.” We both cringed, but then Charlie’s face smoothed out. He seemed to believe me. 59 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 60 1 “Can I go to bed, now? Please.” 2 “In a minute,” he said. 3 “Aw, please, Dad? I’m begging you.” 4 “The embarrassing part’s over, I promise,” he assured me. 5 I shot a glance at him, and was grateful to see that he 6 looked more relaxed, that his face was back to its regular 7 color. He sank down onto the sofa, sighing with relief that 8 he was past the sex speech. 9 “What now?” 10 “I just wanted to know how the balance thing is com- 11 ing along.” 12 “Oh. Good, I guess. I made plans with Angela today. 13 I’m going to help her with her graduation announce- 14 ments. Just us girls.” 15 “That’s nice. And what about Jake?” 16 I sighed. “I haven’t figured that one out yet, Dad.” 17 “Keep trying, Bella. I know you’ll do the right thing. 18 You’re a good person.” 19 Nice. So if I didn’t figure out some way to make things 20 right with Jacob, then I was a bad person? That was below 21 the belt. 22 “Sure, sure,” I agreed. The automatic response almost 23 made me smile — it was something I’d picked up from 24 Jacob. I even said it in the same patronizing tone he used 25 with his own father. 26 Charlie grinned and turned the sound back on. He 27 slumped lower into the cushions, pleased with his night’s 28 work. I could tell he would be up with the game for a while. sh 29 “’Night, Bells.” reg 30 “See you in the morning!” I sprinted for the stairs. 60 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 61 Edward was long gone and he wouldn’t be back until 1 Charlie was asleep — he was probably out hunting or 2 something to pass the time — so I was in no hurry to un- 3 dress for bed. I wasn’t in the mood to be alone, but I cer- 4 tainly wasn’t going to go back downstairs to hang out 5 with my Dad, just in case he thought of some topic of sex 6 education that he hadn’t touched on before; I shuddered. 7 8 So, thanks to Charlie, I was wound up and anxious. My 9 homework was done and I didn’t feel mellow enough for 10 reading or just listening to music. I considered calling 11 Renée with the news of my visit, but then I realized that 12 it was three hours later in Florida, and she would be asleep. 13 14 I could call Angela, I supposed. 15 But suddenly I knew that it wasn’t Angela that I 16 wanted to talk to. That I needed to talk to. 17 I stared at the blank black window, biting my lip. I 18 don’t know how long I stood there weighing the pros 19 against the cons — doing the right thing by Jacob, seeing 20 my closest friend again, being a good person, versus mak- 21 ing Edward furious with me. Ten minutes maybe. Long 22 enough to decide that the pros were valid while the cons 23 were not. Edward was only concerned about my safety, and 24 I knew that there was really no problem on that count. 25 The phone wasn’t any help; Jacob had refused to an- 26 swer my phone calls since Edward’s return. Besides, I 27 needed to see him — see him smiling again the way he 28 used to. I needed to replace that awful last memory of his 29 sh face warped and twisted by pain if I was ever going to have 30 reg any peace of mind. I had an hour probably. I could make a quick run down 61 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 62 1 to La Push and be back before Edward realized I had gone. 2 It was past my curfew, but would Charlie really care about 3 that when Edward wasn’t involved? One way to find out. 4 5 I grabbed my jacket and shoved my arms through the 6 sleeves as I ran down the stairs. 7 8 Charlie looked up from the game, instantly suspicious. 9 “You care if I go see Jake tonight?” I asked breathlessly. 10 “I won’t stay long.” 11 As soon as I said Jake’s name, Charlie’s expression re- 12 laxed into a smug smile. He didn’t seem surprised at all 13 that his lecture had taken effect so quickly. “Sure, kid. No 14 problem. Stay as long as you like.” 15 “Thanks, Dad,” I said as I darted out the door. 16 Like any fugitive, I couldn’t help looking over my 17 shoulder a few times while I jogged to my truck, but the 18 night was so black that there really was no point. I had to 19 feel my way along the side of the truck to the handle. 20 My eyes were just beginning to adjust as I shoved my 21 keys in the ignition. I twisted them hard to the left, but 22 instead of roaring deafeningly to life, the engine just 23 clicked. I tried it again with the same results. 24 And then a small motion in my peripheral vision made 25 me jump. 26 “Gah!” I gasped in shock when I saw that I was not 27 alone in the cab. 28 Edward sat very still, a faint bright spot in the dark- sh 29 ness, only his hands moving as he turned a mysterious reg 30 black object around and around. He stared at the object as he spoke. “Alice called,” he murmured. 62 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 63 Alice! Damn. I’d forgotten to account for her in my 1 plans. He must have her watching me. 2 3 “She got nervous when your future rather abruptly dis- 4 appeared five minutes ago.” 5 6 My eyes, already wide with surprise, popped wider. 7 “Because she can’t see the wolves, you know,” he ex- 8 plained in the same low murmur. “Had you forgotten 9 that? When you decide to mingle your fate with theirs, 10 you disappear, too. You couldn’t know that part, I realize 11 that. But can you understand why that might make me a 12 little . . . anxious? Alice saw you disappear, and she couldn’t 13 even tell if you’d come home or not. Your future got lost, 14 just like theirs. 15 “We’re not sure why this is. Some natural defense 16 they’re born with?” He spoke as if he were talking to him- 17 self now, still looking at the piece of my truck’s engine as he 18 twirled it in his hands. “That doesn’t seem entirely likely, 19 since I haven’t had any trouble reading their thoughts. The 20 Blacks’ at least. Carlisle theorizes that it’s because their 21 lives are so ruled by their transformations. It’s more an in- 22 voluntary reaction than a decision. Utterly unpredictable, 23 and it changes everything about them. In that instant 24 when they shift from one form to the other, they don’t really 25 even exist. The future can’t hold them. . . .” 26 I listened to his musing in stony silence. 27 “I’ll put your car back together in time for school, in 28 case you’d like to drive yourself,” he assured me after a 29 sh minute. 30 reg With my lips mashed together, I retrieved my keys and stiffly climbed out of the truck. 63 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 64 1 “Shut your window if you want me to stay away 2 tonight. I’ll understand,” he whispered just before I 3 slammed the door. 4 5 I stomped into the house, slamming that door, too. 6 “What’s wrong?” Charlie demanded from the couch. 7 “Truck won’t start,” I growled. 8 “Want me to look at it?” 9 “No. I’ll try it in the morning.” 10 “Want to use my car?” 11 I wasn’t supposed to drive his police cruiser. Charlie 12 must be really desperate to get me to La Push. Nearly as 13 desperate as I was. 14 “No. I’m tired,” I grumbled. “’Night.” 15 I stamped my way up the stairs, and went straight 16 to my window. I shoved the metal frame roughly — it 17 crashed shut and the glass trembled. 18 I stared at the shivering black glass for a long moment, 19 until it was still. Then I sighed, and opened the window as 20 wide as it would go. 21 22 64 23 24 25 26 27 28 sh 29 reg 30 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 65 3. MOTIVES 1 2 The sun was so deeply buried behind the clouds 3 that there was no way to tell if it had set or not. After the 4 long flight — chasing the sun westward so that it seemed 5 unmoving in the sky — it was especially disorienting; 6 time seemed oddly variable. It took me by surprise when 7 the forest gave way to the first buildings, signaling that 8 we were nearly home. 9 10 “You’ve been very quiet,” Edward observed. “Did the 11 plane make you sick?” 12 13 “No, I’m okay.” 14 “Are you sad to leave?” 15 “More relieved than sad, I think.” 16 He raised one eyebrow at me. I knew it was useless 17 18 65 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 66 1 and — much as I hated to admit it — unnecessary to ask 2 him to keep his eyes on the road. 3 4 “Renée is so much more . . . perceptive than Charlie in 5 some ways. It was making me jumpy.” 6 7 Edward laughed. “Your mother has a very interesting 8 mind. Almost childlike, but very insightful. She sees things 9 differently than other people.” 10 11 Insightful. It was a good description of my mother — 12 when she was paying attention. Most of the time Renée 13 was so bewildered by her own life that she didn’t notice 14 much else. But this weekend she’d been paying plenty of 15 attention to me. 16 17 Phil was busy — the high school baseball team he 18 coached was in the playoffs — and being alone with Ed- 19 ward and me had only sharpened Renée’s focus. As soon as 20 the hugs and squeals of delight were out of the way, Renée 21 began to watch. And as she’d watched, her wide blue eyes 22 had become first confused and then concerned. 23 24 This morning we’d gone for a walk along the beach. She 25 wanted to show off all the beauties of her new home, still 26 hoping, I think, that the sun might lure me away from 27 Forks. She’d also wanted to talk with me alone, and that 28 was easily arranged. Edward had fabricated a term paper sh 29 to give himself an excuse to stay indoors during the day. reg 30 In my head, I went through the conversation again. . . . Renée and I ambled along the sidewalk, trying to stay in the range of the infrequent palm tree shadows. Though it was early, the heat was smothering. The air was so heavy with moisture that just breathing in and out was giving my lungs a workout. 66 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 67 “Bella?” my mother asked, looking out past the sand to 1 the lightly crashing waves as she spoke. 2 3 “What is it, Mom?” 4 She sighed, not meeting my gaze. “I’m worried. . . .” 5 “What’s wrong?” I asked, anxious at once. “What can 6 I do?” 7 “It’s not me.” She shook her head. “I’m worried about 8 you . . . and Edward.” 9 Renée finally looked at me when she said his name, her 10 face apologetic. 11 “Oh,” I mumbled, fixing my eyes on a pair of joggers as 12 they passed us, drenched with sweat. 13 “You two are more serious than I’d been thinking,” she 14 went on. 15 I frowned, quickly reviewing the last two days in my 16 head. Edward and I had barely touched — in front of her, 17 at least. I wondered if Renée was about to give me a lec- 18 ture on responsibility, too. I didn’t mind that the way I 19 had with Charlie. It wasn’t embarrassing with my mom. 20 After all, I’d been the one giving her that lecture time and 21 time again in the last ten years. 22 “There’s something . . . strange about the way you two 23 are together,” she murmured, her forehead creasing over 24 her troubled eyes. “The way he watches you — it’s so . . . 25 protective. Like he’s about to throw himself in front of a 26 bullet to save you or something.” 27 I laughed, though I was still not able to meet her gaze. 28 “That’s a bad thing?” 29 sh “No.” She frowned as she struggled for the words. “It’s 30 reg just different. He’s very intense about you . . . and very 67 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 68 1 careful. I feel like I don’t really understand your relation- 2 ship. Like there’s some secret I’m missing. . . .” 3 4 “I think you’re imagining things, Mom,” I said 5 quickly, struggling to keep my voice light. There was a 6 flutter in my stomach. I’d forgotten how much my mother 7 saw. Something about her simple view of the world cut 8 through all the distractions and pierced right to the truth 9 of things. This had never been a problem before. Until 10 now, there had never been a secret I couldn’t tell her. 11 12 “It’s not just him.” She set her lips defensively. “I wish 13 you could see how you move around him.” 14 15 “What do you mean?” 16 “The way you move — you orient yourself around him 17 without even thinking about it. When he moves, even a 18 little bit, you adjust your position at the same time. Like 19 magnets . . . or gravity. You’re like a . . . satellite, or some- 20 thing. I’ve never seen anything like it.” 21 She pursed her lips and stared down. 22 “Don’t tell me,” I teased, forcing a smile. “You’re read- 23 ing mysteries again, aren’t you? Or is it sci-fi this time?” 24 Renée flushed a delicate pink. “That’s beside the 25 point.” 26 “Found anything good?” 27 “Well, there was one — but that doesn’t matter. We’re 28 talking about you right now.” sh 29 “You should stick to romance, Mom. You know how reg 30 you freak yourself out.” Her lips turned up at the corners. “I’m being silly, aren’t I?” For half a second I couldn’t answer. Renée was so easily 68 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 69 swayed. Sometimes it was a good thing, because not all 1 of her ideas were practical. But it pained me to see how 2 quickly she caved in to my trivializing, especially since 3 she was dead right this time. 4 5 She looked up, and I controlled my expression. 6 “Not silly — just being a mom.” 7 She laughed and then gestured grandly toward the 8 white sands stretching to the blue water. 9 “And all this isn’t enough to get you to move back in 10 with your silly mom?” 11 I wiped my hand dramatically across my forehead, and 12 then pretended to wring my hair out. 13 “You get used to the humidity,” she promised. 14 “You can get used to rain, too,” I countered. 15 She elbowed me playfully and then took my hand as we 16 walked back to her car. 17 Other than her worries about me, she seemed happy 18 enough. Content. She still looked at Phil with goo-goo 19 eyes, and that was comforting. Surely her life was full and 20 satisfying. Surely she didn’t miss me that much, even 21 now. . . . 22 Edward’s icy fingers brushed my cheek. I looked up, 23 blinking, coming back to the present. He leaned down 24 and kissed my forehead. 25 “We’re home, Sleeping Beauty. Time to awake.” 26 We were stopped in front of Charlie’s house. The porch 27 light was on and the cruiser was parked in the driveway. 28 As I examined the house, I saw the curtain twitch in the 29 sh living room window, flashing a line of yellow light across 30 reg the dark lawn. 69 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 70 1 I sighed. Of course Charlie was waiting to pounce. 2 Edward must have been thinking the same thing, be- 3 cause his expression was stiff and his eyes remote as he 4 came to get my door for me. 5 “How bad?” I asked. 6 “Charlie’s not going to be difficult,” Edward promised, 7 his voice level with no hint of humor. “He missed you.” 8 My eyes narrowed in doubt. If that was the case, then 9 why was Edward tensed as if for a battle? 10 My bag was small, but he insisted on carrying it into 11 the house. Charlie held the door open for us. 12 “Welcome home, kid!” Charlie shouted like he really 13 meant it. “How was Jacksonville?” 14 “Moist. And buggy.” 15 “So Renée didn’t sell you on the University of Florida?” 16 “She tried. But I’d rather drink water than inhale it.” 17 Charlie’s eyes flickered unwillingly to Edward. “Did you 18 have a nice time?” 19 “Yes,” Edward answered in a serene voice. “Renée was 20 very hospitable.” 21 “That’s . . . um, good. Glad you had fun.” Charlie 22 turned away from Edward and pulled me in for an unex- 23 pected hug. 24 “Impressive,” I whispered in his ear. 25 He rumbled a laugh. “I really missed you, Bells. The 26 food around here sucks when you’re gone.” 27 “I’ll get on it,” I said as he let me go. 28 “Would you call Jacob first? He’s been bugging me sh 29 every five minutes since six o’clock this morning. I prom- reg 30 ised I’d have you call him before you even unpacked.” 70 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 71 I didn’t have to look at Edward to feel that he was 1 too still, too cold beside me. So this was the cause of his 2 tension. 3 4 “Jacob wants to talk to me?” 5 “Pretty bad, I’d say. He wouldn’t tell me what it was 6 about — just said it was important.” 7 The phone rang then, shrill and demanding. 8 “That’s him again, I’d bet my next paycheck,” Charlie 9 muttered. 10 “I got it.” I hurried to the kitchen. 11 Edward followed after me while Charlie disappeared 12 into the living room. 13 I grabbed the phone mid-ring, and twisted around so 14 that I was facing the wall. “Hello?” 15 “You’re back,” Jacob said. 16 His familiar husky voice sent a wave of wistfulness 17 through me. A thousand memories spun in my head, tan- 18 gling together — a rocky beach strewn with driftwood 19 trees, a garage made of plastic sheds, warm sodas in a pa- 20 per bag, a tiny room with one too-small shabby loveseat. 21 The laughter in his deep-set black eyes, the feverish heat 22 of his big hand around mine, the flash of his white teeth 23 against his dark skin, his face stretching into the wide 24 smile that had always been like a key to a secret door 25 where only kindred spirits could enter. 26 It felt sort of like homesickness, this longing for the 27 place and person who had sheltered me through my dark- 28 est night. 29 sh I cleared the lump from my throat. “Yes,” I answered. 30 reg “Why didn’t you call me?” Jacob demanded. 71 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 72 1 His angry tone instantly got my back up. “Because I’ve 2 been in the house for exactly four seconds and your call in- 3 terrupted Charlie telling me that you’d called.” 4 5 “Oh. Sorry.” 6 “Sure. Now, why are you harassing Charlie?” 7 “I need to talk to you.” 8 “Yeah, I figured out that part all by myself. Go ahead.” 9 There was a short pause. 10 “You going to school tomorrow?” 11 I frowned to myself, unable to make sense of this ques- 12 tion. “Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I?” 13 “I dunno. Just curious.” 14 Another pause. 15 “So what did you want to talk about, Jake?” 16 He hesitated. “Nothing really, I guess. I . . . wanted to 17 hear your voice.” 18 “Yeah, I know. I’m so glad you called me, Jake. I . . .” 19 But I didn’t know what more to say. I wanted to tell him 20 I was on my way to La Push right now. And I couldn’t tell 21 him that. 22 “I have to go,” he said abruptly. 23 “What?” 24 “I’ll talk to you soon, okay?” 25 “But Jake —” 26 He was already gone. I listened to the dial tone with 27 disbelief. 28 “That was short,” I muttered. sh 29 “Is everything all right?” Edward asked. His voice was reg 30 low and careful. 72 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 73 I turned slowly to face him. His expression was per- 1 fectly smooth — impossible to read. 2 3 “I don’t know. I wonder what that was about.” It didn’t 4 make sense that Jacob had been hounding Charlie all day 5 just to ask me if I was going to school. And if he’d wanted 6 to hear my voice, then why did he hang up so quickly? 7 8 “Your guess is probably better than mine,” Edward said, 9 the hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. 10 11 “Mmm,” I murmured. That was true. I knew Jake in- 12 side and out. It shouldn’t be that complicated to figure out 13 his motivations. 14 15 With my thoughts miles away — about fifteen miles 16 away, up the road to La Push — I started combing through 17 the fridge, assembling ingredients for Charlie’s dinner. Ed- 18 ward leaned against the counter, and I was distantly aware 19 that his eyes were on my face, but too preoccupied to 20 worry about what he saw there. 21 22 The school thing seemed like the key to me. That was 23 the only real question Jake had asked. And he had to be af- 24 ter an answer to something, or he wouldn’t have been bug- 25 ging Charlie so persistently. 26 27 Why would my attendance record matter to him, 28 though? 29 sh 30 reg I tried to think about it in a logical way. So, if I hadn’t been going to school tomorrow, what would be the problem with that, from Jacob’s perspective? Charlie had given me a little grief about missing a day of school so close to fi- nals, but I’d convinced him that one Friday wasn’t going to derail my studies. Jake would hardly care about that. 73 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 74 1 My brain refused to come up with any brilliant in- 2 sights. Maybe I was missing some vital piece of infor- 3 mation. 4 5 What could have changed in the past three days that 6 was so important that Jacob would break his long streak of 7 refusing to answer my phone calls and contact me? What 8 difference could three days make? 9 10 I froze in the middle of the kitchen. The package of icy 11 hamburger in my hands slipped through my numb fin- 12 gers. It took me a slow second to miss the thud it should 13 have made against the floor. 14 15 Edward had caught it and thrown it onto the counter. 16 His arms were already around me, his lips at my ear. 17 18 “What’s wrong?” 19 I shook my head, dazed. 20 Three days could change everything. 21 Hadn’t I just been thinking about how impossible col- 22 lege was? How I couldn’t be anywhere near people after I’d 23 gone through the painful three-day conversion that would 24 set me free from mortality, so that I could spend eternity 25 with Edward? The conversion that would make me forever 26 a prisoner to my own thirst. . . . 27 Had Charlie told Billy that I’d vanished for three days? 28 Had Billy jumped to conclusions? Had Jacob really been sh 29 asking me if I was still human? Making sure that the reg 30 werewolves’ treaty was unbroken — that none of the Cul- lens had dared to bite a human . . . bite, not kill . . . ? But did he honestly think I would come home to Char- lie if that was the case? Edward shook me. “Bella?” he asked, truly anxious now. 74 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 75 “I think . . . I think he was checking,” I mumbled. 1 “Checking to make sure. That I’m human, I mean.” 2 3 Edward stiffened, and a low hiss sounded in my ear. 4 “We’ll have to leave,” I whispered. “Before. So that it 5 doesn’t break the treaty. We won’t ever be able to come 6 back.” 7 His arms tightened around me. “I know.” 8 “Ahem.” Charlie cleared his voice loudly behind us. 9 I jumped, and then pulled free of Edward’s arms, my 10 face getting hot. Edward leaned back against the counter. 11 His eyes were tight. I could see worry in them, and anger. 12 “If you don’t want to make dinner, I can call for a 13 pizza,” Charlie hinted. 14 “No, that’s okay, I’m already started.” 15 “Okay,” Charlie said. He propped himself against the 16 doorframe, folding his arms. 17 I sighed and got to work, trying to ignore my audience. 18 19 “If I asked you to do something, would you trust me?” Ed- 20 ward asked, an edge to his soft voice. 21 22 We were almost to school. Edward had been relaxed 23 and joking just a moment ago, and now suddenly his hands 24 were clenched tight on the steering wheel, his knuckles 25 straining in an effort not to snap it into pieces. 26 27 I stared at his anxious expression — his eyes were far 28 away, like he was listening to distant voices. 29 sh 30 reg My pulse sped in response to his stress, but I answered carefully. “That depends.” We pulled into the school lot. “I was afraid you would say that.” 75 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 76 1 “What do you want me to do, Edward?” 2 “I want you to stay in the car.” He pulled into his usual 3 spot and turned the engine off as he spoke. “I want you to 4 wait here until I come back for you.” 5 “But . . . why?” 6 That was when I saw him. He would have been hard to 7 miss, towering over the students the way he did, even if he 8 hadn’t been leaning against his black motorcycle, parked 9 illegally on the sidewalk. 10 “Oh.” 11 Jacob’s face was a calm mask that I recognized well. It 12 was the face he used when he was determined to keep his 13 emotions in check, to keep himself under control. It made 14 him look like Sam, the oldest of the wolves, the leader of 15 the Quileute pack. But Jacob could never quite manage 16 the perfect serenity Sam always exuded. 17 I’d forgotten how much this face bothered me. Though 18 I’d gotten to know Sam pretty well before the Cullens had 19 come back — to like him, even — I’d never been able to 20 completely shake the resentment I felt when Jacob mim- 21 icked Sam’s expression. It was a stranger’s face. He wasn’t 22 my Jacob when he wore it. 23 “You jumped to the wrong conclusion last night,” Ed- 24 ward murmured. “He asked about school because he knew 25 that I would be where you were. He was looking for a safe 26 place to talk to me. A place with witnesses.” 27 So I’d misinterpreted Jacob’s motives last night. Miss- 28 ing information, that was the problem. Information like sh 29 why in the world Jacob would want to talk to Edward. reg 30 “I’m not staying in the car,” I said. 76 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 77 Edward groaned quietly. “Of course not. Well, let’s get 1 this over with.” 2 3 Jacob’s face hardened as we walked toward him, hand 4 in hand. 5 6 I noticed other faces, too — the faces of my classmates. 7 I noticed how their eyes widened as they took in all six 8 foot seven inches of Jacob’s long body, muscled up the way 9 no normal sixteen-and-a-half-year-old ever had been. I saw 10 those eyes rake over his tight black t-shirt — short-sleeved, 11 though the day was unseasonably cool — his ragged, grease- 12 smeared jeans, and the glossy black bike he leaned against. 13 Their eyes didn’t linger on his face — something about his 14 expression had them glancing quickly away. And I noticed 15 the wide berth everyone gave him, the bubble of space that 16 no one dared to encroach on. 17 18 With a sense of astonishment, I realized that Jacob 19 looked dangerous to them. How odd. 20 21 Edward stopped a few yards away from Jacob, and I 22 could tell that he was uncomfortable having me so close to 23 a werewolf. He drew his hand back slightly, pulling me 24 halfway behind his body. 25 26 “You could have called us,” Edward said in a steel-hard 27 voice. 28 29 sh “Sorry,” Jacob answered, his face twisting into a sneer. 30 reg “I don’t have any leeches on my speed dial.” “You could have reached me at Bella’s house, of course.” Jacob’s jaw flexed, and his brows pulled together. He didn’t answer. “This is hardly the place, Jacob. Could we discuss this later?” 77 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 78 1 “Sure, sure. I’ll stop by your crypt after school.” Jacob 2 snorted. “What’s wrong with now?” 3 4 Edward looked around pointedly, his eyes resting on 5 the witnesses who were just barely out of hearing range. A 6 few people were hesitating on the sidewalk, their eyes 7 bright with expectation. Like they were hoping a fight 8 might break out to alleviate the tedium of another Mon- 9 day morning. I saw Tyler Crowley nudge Austin Marks, 10 and they both paused on their way to class. 11 12 “I already know what you came to say,” Edward re- 13 minded Jacob in voice so low that I could barely make it 14 out. “Message delivered. Consider us warned.” 15 16 Edward glanced down at me for a fleeting second with 17 worried eyes. 18 19 “Warned?” I asked blankly. “What are you talking 20 about?” 21 22 “You didn’t tell her?” Jacob asked, his eyes widening 23 with disbelief. “What, were you afraid she’d take our side?” 24 25 “Please drop it, Jacob,” Edward said in an even voice. 26 “Why?” Jacob challenged. 27 I frowned in confusion. “What don’t I know? Edward?” 28 Edward just glared at Jacob as if he hadn’t heard me. sh 29 “Jake?” reg 30 Jacob raised his eyebrow at me. “He didn’t tell you that his big . . . brother crossed the line Saturday night?” he asked, his tone thickly layered with sarcasm. Then his eyes flickered back to Edward. “Paul was totally justified in —” “It was no-man’s land!” Edward hissed. “Was not!” 78 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 79 Jacob was fuming visibly. His hands trembled. He 1 shook his head and sucked in two deep lungfuls of air. 2 3 “Emmett and Paul?” I whispered. Paul was Jacob’s 4 most volatile pack brother. He was the one who’d lost con- 5 trol that day in the woods — the memory of the snarling 6 gray wolf was suddenly vivid in my head. “What hap- 7 pened? Were they fighting?” My voice strained higher in 8 panic. “Why? Did Paul get hurt?” 9 10 “No one fought,” Edward said quietly, only to me. “No 11 one got hurt. Don’t be anxious.” 12 13 Jacob was staring at us with incredulous eyes. “You 14 didn’t tell her anything at all, did you? Is that why you 15 took her away? So she wouldn’t know that —?” 16 17 “Leave now.” Edward cut him off mid-sentence, and his 18 face was abruptly frightening — truly frightening. For a 19 second, he looked like . . . like a vampire. He glared at Ja- 20 cob with vicious, unveiled loathing. 21 22 Jacob raised his eyebrows, but made no other move. 23 “Why haven’t you told her?” 24 25 They faced each other in silence for a long moment. 26 More students gathered behind Tyler and Austin. I saw 27 Mike next to Ben — Mike had one hand on Ben’s shoul- 28 der, like he was holding him in place. 29 sh 30 reg In the dead silence, all the details suddenly fell into place for me with a burst of intuition. Something Edward didn’t want me to know. Something that Jacob wouldn’t have kept from me. Something that had the Cullens and the wolves both in the woods, moving in hazardous proximity to each other. 79 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 80 1 Something that would cause Edward to insist that I fly 2 across the country. 3 4 Something that Alice had seen in a vision last week — 5 a vision Edward had lied to me about. 6 7 Something I’d been waiting for anyway. Something I 8 knew would happen again, as much as I might wish it 9 never would. It was never going to end, was it? 10 11 I heard the quick gasp, gasp, gasp, gasp of the air drag- 12 ging through my lips, but I couldn’t stop it. It looked like 13 the school was shaking, like there was an earthquake, but 14 I knew it was my own trembling that caused the illusion. 15 16 “She came back for me,” I choked out. 17 Victoria was never going to give up till I was dead. She 18 would keep repeating the same pattern — feint and run, 19 feint and run — until she found a hole through my de- 20 fenders. 21 Maybe I’d get lucky. Maybe the Volturi would come 22 for me first — they’d kill me quicker, at least. 23 Edward held me tight to his side, angling his body so 24 that he was still between me and Jacob, and stroked my 25 face with anxious hands. “It’s fine,” he whispered to me. 26 “It’s fine. I’ll never let her get close to you, it’s fine.” 27 Then he glared at Jacob. “Does that answer your ques- 28 tion, mongrel?” sh 29 “You don’t think Bella has a right to know?” Jacob reg 30 challenged. “It’s her life.” Edward kept his voice muted; even Tyler, edging for- ward by inches, would be unable to hear. “Why should she be frightened when she was never in danger?” 80 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 81 “Better frightened than lied to.” 1 I tried to pull myself together, but my eyes were swim- 2 ming in moisture. I could see it behind my lids — I could 3 see Victoria’s face, her lips pulled back over her teeth, her 4 crimson eyes glowing with the obsession of her vendetta; she 5 held Edward responsible for the demise of her love, James. 6 She wouldn’t stop until his love was taken from him, too. 7 Edward wiped the tears from my cheek with his finger- 8 tips. 9 “Do you really think hurting her is better than protect- 10 ing her?” he murmured. 11 “She’s tougher than you think,” Jacob said. “And she’s 12 been through worse.” 13 Abruptly, Jacob’s expression shifted, and he was staring 14 at Edward with an odd, speculative expression. His eyes 15 narrowed like he was trying to do a difficult math problem 16 in his head. 17 I felt Edward cringe. I glanced up at him, and his face 18 was contorted in what could only be pain. For one ghastly 19 moment, I was reminded of our afternoon in Italy, in the 20 macabre tower room of the Volturi, where Jane had tor- 21 tured Edward with her malignant gift, burning him with 22 her thoughts alone. . . . 23 The memory snapped me out of my near hysteria and 24 put everything in perspective. Because I’d rather Victoria 25 killed me a hundred times over than watch Edward suffer 26 that way again. 27 “That’s funny,” Jacob said, laughing as he watched Ed- 28 ward’s face. 29 sh 30 reg 81 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 82 1 Edward winced, but smoothed his expression with a 2 little effort. He couldn’t quite hide the agony in his eyes. 3 4 I glanced, wide-eyed, from Edward’s grimace to Jacob’s 5 sneer. 6 7 “What are you doing to him?” I demanded. 8 “It’s nothing, Bella,” Edward told me quietly. “Jacob 9 just has a good memory, that’s all.” 10 Jacob grinned, and Edward winced again. 11 “Stop it! Whatever you’re doing.” 12 “Sure, if you want.” Jacob shrugged. “It’s his own fault 13 if he doesn’t like the things I remember, though.” 14 I glared at him, and he smiled back impishly — like a 15 kid caught doing something he knows he shouldn’t by 16 someone who he knows won’t punish him. 17 “The principal’s on his way to discourage loitering on 18 school property,” Edward murmured to me. “Let’s get to 19 English, Bella, so you’re not involved.” 20 “Overprotective, isn’t he?” Jacob said, talking just to 21 me. “A little trouble makes life fun. Let me guess, you’re 22 not allowed to have fun, are you?” 23 Edward glowered, and his lips pulled back from his 24 teeth ever so slightly. 25 “Shut up, Jake,” I said. 26 Jacob laughed. “That sounds like a no. Hey, if you ever 27 feel like having a life again, you could come see me. I’ve 28 still got your motorcycle in my garage.” sh 29 This news distracted me. “You were supposed to sell reg 30 that. You promised Charlie you would.” If I hadn’t begged on Jake’s behalf — after all, he’d put weeks of labor into both motorcycles, and he deserved some kind of payback — 82 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 83 Charlie would have thrown my bike in a Dumpster. And 1 possibly set that Dumpster on fire. 2 3 “Yeah, right. Like I would do that. It belongs to you, 4 not me. Anyway, I’ll hold on to it until you want it back.” 5 6 A tiny hint of the smile I remembered was suddenly 7 playing around the edges of his lips. 8 9 “Jake . . .” 10 He leaned forward, his face earnest now, the bitter sar- 11 casm fading. “I think I might have been wrong before, you 12 know, about not being able to be friends. Maybe we could 13 manage it, on my side of the line. Come see me.” 14 I was vividly conscious of Edward, his arms still 15 wrapped protectively around me, motionless as a stone. I 16 shot a look at his face — it was calm, patient. 17 “I, er, don’t know about that, Jake.” 18 Jacob dropped the antagonistic façade completely. It 19 was like he’d forgotten Edward was there, or at least he 20 was determined to act that way. “I miss you every day, 21 Bella. It’s not the same without you.” 22 “I know and I’m sorry, Jake, I just . . .” 23 He shook his head, and sighed. “I know. Doesn’t mat- 24 ter, right? I guess I’ll survive or something. Who needs 25 friends?” He grimaced, trying to cover the pain with a thin 26 attempt at bravado. 27 Jacob’s suffering had always triggered my protective 28 side. It was not entirely rational — Jacob was hardly in 29 sh need of any physical protection I could offer. But my arms, 30 reg pinned beneath Edward’s, yearned to reach out to him. To wrap around his big, warm waist in a silent promise of ac- ceptance and comfort. 83 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 84 1 Edward’s shielding arms had become restraints. 2 “Okay, get to class,” a stern voice sounded behind us. 3 “Move along, Mr. Crowley.” 4 “Get to school, Jake,” I whispered, anxious as soon as I 5 recognized the principal’s voice. Jacob went to the Quileute 6 school, but he might still get in trouble for trespassing or 7 the equivalent. 8 Edward released me, taking just my hand and pulling 9 me behind his body again. 10 Mr. Greene pushed through the circle of spectators, his 11 brows pressing down like ominous storm clouds over his 12 small eyes. 13 “I mean it,” he was threatening. “Detention for anyone 14 who’s still standing here when I turn around again.” 15 The audience melted away before he was finished with 16 his sentence. 17 “Ah, Mr. Cullen. Do we have a problem here?” 18 “Not at all, Mr. Greene. We were just on our way to 19 class.” 20 “Excellent. I don’t seem to recognize your friend.” Mr. 21 Greene turned his glower on Jacob. “Are you a new stu- 22 dent here?” 23 Mr. Greene’s eyes scrutinized Jacob, and I could see 24 that he’d come to the same conclusion everyone else had: 25 dangerous. A troublemaker. 26 “Nope,” Jacob answered, half a smirk on his broad lips. 27 “Then I suggest you remove yourself from school prop- 28 erty at once, young man, before I call the police.” sh 29 Jacob’s little smirk became a full-blown grin, and I reg 30 84 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 85 knew he was picturing Charlie showing up to arrest him. 1 This grin was too bitter, too full of mocking to satisfy me. 2 This wasn’t the smile I’d been waiting to see. 3 4 Jacob said, “Yes, sir,” and snapped a military salute be- 5 fore he climbed on his bike and kicked it to a start right 6 there on the sidewalk. The engine snarled and then the 7 tires squealed as he spun it sharply around. In a matter of 8 seconds, Jacob raced out of sight. 9 10 Mr. Greene gnashed his teeth together while he watched 11 the performance. 12 13 “Mr. Cullen, I expect you to ask your friend to refrain 14 from trespassing again.” 15 16 “He’s no friend of mine, Mr. Greene, but I’ll pass along 17 the warning.” 18 19 Mr. Greene pursed his lips. Edward’s perfect grades and 20 spotless record were clearly a factor in Mr. Greene’s assess- 21 ment of the incident. “I see. If you’re worried about any 22 trouble, I’d be happy to —” 23 24 “There’s nothing to worry about, Mr. Greene. There 25 won’t be any trouble.” 26 27 “I hope that’s correct. Well, then. On to class. You, too, 28 Miss Swan.” 29 sh 30 reg Edward nodded, and pulled me quickly along toward the English building. “Do you feel well enough to go to class?” he whispered when we were past the principal. “Yes,” I whispered back, not quite sure if this was a lie. Whether I felt well or not was hardly the most impor- tant consideration. I needed to talk to Edward right away, 85 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 86 1 and English class wasn’t the ideal place for the conversa- 2 tion I had in mind. 3 4 But with Mr. Greene right behind us, there weren’t a 5 lot of other options. 6 7 We got to class a little late and took our seats quickly. 8 Mr. Berty was reciting a Frost poem. He ignored our en- 9 trance, refusing to let us break his rhythm. 10 11 I yanked a blank page out of my notebook and started 12 writing, my handwriting more illegible than normal 13 thanks to my agitation. 14 15 What happened? Tell me everything. And 16 screw the protecting me crap, please. 17 18 I shoved the note at Edward. He sighed, and then be- 19 gan writing. It took him less time than me, though he 20 wrote an entire paragraph in his own personal calligraphy 21 before he slipped the paper back. 22 23 Alice saw that Victoria was coming back. I took you 24 out of town merely as a precaution — there was never a 25 chance that she would have gotten anywhere close to you. 26 Emmett and Jasper very nearly had her, but Victoria 27 seems to have some instinct for evasion. She escaped 28 right down the Quileute boundary line as if she were sh 29 reading it from a map. It didn’t help that Alice’s reg 30 abilities were nullified by the Quileutes’ involvement. To be fair, the Quileutes might have had her, too, if we hadn’t gotten in the way. The big gray one thought 86 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 87 Emmett was over the line, and he got defensive. Of 1 course Rosalie reacted to that, and everyone left the chase 2 to protect their companions. Carlisle and Jasper got 3 things calmed down before it got out of hand. But by 4 then, Victoria had slipped away. That ’s everything. 5 6 I frowned at the letters on the page. All of them had been 7 in on it — Emmett, Jasper, Alice, Rosalie, and Carlisle. 8 Maybe even Esme, though he hadn’t mentioned her. And 9 then Paul and the rest of the Quileute pack. It might so 10 easily have turned into a fight, pitting my future family 11 and my old friends against each other. Any one of them 12 could have been hurt. I imagined the wolves would be in 13 the most danger, but picturing tiny Alice next to one of 14 the huge werewolves, fighting . . . 15 16 I shuddered. 17 Carefully, I scrubbed out the entire paragraph with my 18 eraser and then I wrote over the top: 19 20 What about Charlie? She could have been 21 after him. 22 23 Edward was shaking his head before I finished, obvi- 24 ously going to downplay any danger on Charlie’s behalf. 25 He held a hand out, but I ignored that and started again. 26 27 You can’t know that she wasn’t thinking that, 28 because you weren’t here. Florida was a bad idea. 29 sh 30 reg 87 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 88 1 He took the paper from underneath my hand. 2 3 I wasn’t about to send you off alone. With your luck, 4 not even the black box would survive. 5 6 That wasn’t what I’d meant at all; I hadn’t thought of 7 going without him. I’d meant that we should have stayed 8 here together. But I was sidetracked by his response, and 9 a little miffed. Like I couldn’t fly cross country without 10 bringing the plane down. Very funny. 11 12 So let’s say my bad luck did crash the plane. 13 What exactly were you going to do about it? 14 15 Why is the plane crashing? 16 17 He was trying to hide a smile now. 18 19 The pilots are passed out drunk. 20 21 Easy. I d’ fly the plane. 22 23 Of course. I pursed my lips and tried again. 24 25 Both engines have exploded and we’re falling in 26 a death spiral toward the earth. 27 28 I d’ wait till we were close enough to the ground, get a sh 29 good grip on you, kick out the wall, and jump. Then reg 30 88 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 89 I d’ run you back to the scene of the accident, and we’d 1 stumble around like the two luckiest survivors in history. 2 3 I stared at him wordlessly. 4 “What?” he whispered. 5 I shook my head in awe. “Nothing,” I mouthed. 6 I scrubbed out the disconcerting conversation and wrote 7 one more line. 8 9 You will tell me next time. 10 11 I knew there would be a next time. The pattern would 12 continue until someone lost. 13 14 Edward stared into my eyes for a long moment. I won- 15 dered what my face looked like — it felt cold, so the blood 16 hadn’t returned to my cheeks. My eyelashes were still wet. 17 18 He sighed and then nodded once. 19 20 Thanks. 21 22 The paper disappeared from under my hand. I looked up, 23 blinking in surprise, just as Mr. Berty came down the aisle. 24 25 “Is that something you’d like to share there, Mr. Cullen?” 26 Edward looked up innocently and held out the sheet of 27 paper on top of his folder. “My notes?” he asked, sounding 28 confused. 29 sh Mr. Berty scanned the notes — no doubt a perfect 30 reg transcription of his lecture — and then walked away frowning. 89 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 90 1 *** 2 It was later, in Calculus — my one class without Edward — 3 that I heard the gossip. 4 5 “My money’s on the big Indian,” someone was saying. 6 I peeked up to see that Tyler, Mike, Austin, and Ben 7 had their heads bent together, deep in conversation. 8 “Yeah,” Mike whispered. “Did you see the size of that 9 Jacob kid? I think he could take Cullen down.” Mike 10 sounded pleased by the idea. 11 “I don’t think so,” Ben disagreed. “There’s something 12 about Edward. He’s always so . . . confident. I have a feel- 13 ing he can take care of himself.” 14 “I’m with Ben,” Tyler agreed. “Besides, if that other 15 kid messed Edward up, you know those big brothers of his 16 would get involved.” 17 “Have you been down to La Push lately?” Mike asked. 18 “Lauren and I went to the beach a couple of weeks ago, and 19 believe me, Jacob’s friends are all just as big as he is.” 20 “Huh,” Tyler said. “Too bad it didn’t turn into anything. 21 Guess we’ll never know how it would have turned out.” 22 “It didn’t look over to me,” Austin said. “Maybe we’ll 23 get to see.” 24 Mike grinned. “Anyone in the mood for a bet?” 25 “Ten on Jacob,” Austin said at once. 26 “Ten on Cullen,” Tyler chimed in. 27 “Ten on Edward,” Ben agreed. 28 “Jacob,” Mike said. sh 29 “Hey, do you guys know what it was about?” Austin reg 30 wondered. “That might affect the odds.” 90 3rd Pass Pages

Eclipse_HCtext3p.qxp 5/4/07 3:03 PM Page 91 “I can guess,” Mike said, and then he shot a glance at 1 me at the same time that Ben and Tyler did. 2 3 From their expressions, none of them had realized I was 4 in easy hearing distance. They all looked away quickly, 5 shuffling the papers on their desks. 6 7 “I still say Jacob,” Mike muttered under his breath. 8 9 91 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 92 1 4 . N AT U R E 2 3 I was having a bad week. 4 I knew that essentially nothing had changed. Okay, so 5 6 Victoria had not given up, but had I ever dreamed for one 7 moment that she had? Her reappearance had only con- 8 firmed what I’d already known. No reason for fresh panic. 9 10 In theory. Not panicking was easier said than done. 11 Graduation was only a few weeks away, but I wondered 12 if it wasn’t a little foolish to sit around, weak and tasty, 13 waiting for the next disaster. It seemed too dangerous to 14 be human — just begging for trouble. Someone like me 15 shouldn’t be human. Someone with my luck ought to be a 16 little less helpless. 17 But no one would listen to me. 18 19 92 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 sh 29 reg 30 3rd Pass Pages

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