Stop being so...Took me a minute to decide on the right word. Optimistic. It's getting on my nerves.

No problem. You want me to be all doom and gloom, or just shut up?

Just shut up.

Can do.

Really? Doesn't seem like it.

He was finally quiet.

And then we were across the road and moving through the forest that ringed the Cullens' house. Could Edward hear us yet?

Maybe we should be thinking something like,'We come in peace."

Go for it

Edward?He called the name tentatively. Edward, you there? Okay, now I feel kinda stupid.

You sound stupid, too.

Think he can hear us?

We were less than a mile out now. think so. Hey, Edward. If you can hear me - circle the wagons, bloodsucker. You've got a problem.

We've got a problem, Seth corrected.

Then we broke through the trees into the big lawn. The house was dark, but not empty. Edward stood on the porch between Emmett and Jasper. They were snow white in the pale light.

"Jacob? Seth? What's going on?"

I slowed and then paced back a few steps. The smell was so sharp through this nose that it felt like it was honestly burning me. Seth whined quietly, hesitating, and then he fell back behind me.

To answer Edward's question, I let my mind run over the confrontation with Sam, moving through it backward. Seth thought with me, filling in the gaps, showing the scene from another angle. We stopped when we got to the part

about the "abomination," because Edward hissed furiously and leaped off the porch.

"They want to kill Bella?" he snarled flatly.

Emmett and Jasper, not having heard the first part of the conversation, took his inflectionless question for a statement. They were right next to him in a flash, teeth exposed as they moved on us.

Hey, now,Seth thought, backing away.

"Em, Jazz - not theml The others. The pack is coming."

Emmett and Jasper rocked back on their heels; Emmett turned to Edward while Jasper kept his eyes locked on us.

"What's their problem?" Emmett demanded.

"The same one as mine," Edward hissed. "But they have their own plan to handle it. Get the others. Call Carlisle! He and Esme have to get back here now."

I whined uneasily. They were separated.

"They aren't far," Edward said in the same dead voice as before.

I'm going to go take a look,Seth said. Run the western perimeter.

"Will you be in danger, Seth?" Edward asked.

Seth and I exchanged a glance.

Don't think so,we thought together. And then I added, But maybe I should go. Just in case...

They'll be less likely to challenge me,Seth pointed out. I'm just a kid to them.

You're just a kid to me, kid.

I'm outta here. You need to coordinate with the Cullens.

He wheeled and darted into the darkness. I wasn't going to order Seth around, so I let him go.

Edward and I stood facing each other in the dark meadow, i could hear Emmett muttering into his phone. Jasper was watching the place where Seth had vanished into the woods. Alice appeared on the porch and then, after staring at me with anxious eyes for a long moment, she flitted to Jasper's side. I guessed that Rosalie was inside with Bella. Still guarding her - from the wrong dangers.

"This isn't the first time I've owed you my gratitude, Jacob," Edward whispered. "I would never have asked for this from you."

I thought of what he'd asked me for earlier today. When it came to Bella, there were no lines he wouldn't cross. Yeah, you would.

He thought about it and then nodded. "I suppose you're right about that."

I sighed heavily. Well, this isn't the first time that I didn't do it for you.

"Right," he murmured.

Sorry I didn't do any good today. Told you she wouldn't listen to me.

"I know. I never really believed she would. But..."

You had to try. I get it. She any better?

His voice and eyes went hollow. "Worse," he breathed.

I didn't want to let that word sink in. I was grateful when Alice spoke.

"Jacob, would you mind switching forms?" Alice asked. "I want to know what's going on."

I shook my head at the same time Edward answered.

"He needs to stay linked to Seth."

"Well, then would you be so kind as to tell me what's happening?"

He explained in clipped, emotionless sentences. "The pack thinks Bella's become a problem. They foresee potential danger from the... from what she's carrying. They feel it's their duty to remove that danger. Jacob and Seth disbanded from the pack to warn us. The rest are planning to attack tonight."

Alice hissed, leaning away from me. Emmett and Jasper exchanged a glance, and then their eyes ranged across the trees.

Nobody out here,Seth reported. All's quiet on the western front

They may go around.

I'll make a loop.

"Carlisle and Esme are on their way," Emmett said. "Twenty minutes, tops."

"We should take up a defensive position," Jasper said.

Edward nodded. "Let's get inside."

run perimeter with Seth. If I get too far for you to hear my head, listen for my howl.

"Iwill."

They backed into the house, eyes flickering everywhere. Before they were inside, I turned and ran toward the west.

I'm still not finding much,Seth told me.

take half the circle. Move fast - we don't want them to have a chance to sneak past us.

Seth lurched forward in a sudden burst of speed.

We ran in silence, and the minutes passed. I listened to the noises around him, double-checking his judgment.

Hey - something coming up fast!he warned me after fifteen minutes of silence.

On my way!

Hold your position - don't think it's the pack. It sounds different.

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