There was the strangest, muffled ripping sound from the center of her body.

"Oh!" she gasped.

And then she went totally limp, slumping toward the floor. Rosalie caught her in the same instant, before she could fall. Edward was there, too, hands out, the mess on the sofa forgotten.

"Bella?" he asked, and then his eyes unfocused, and panic shot across his features.

A half second later,Bella screamed.

Itwas not justa scream, it was a blood-curdling shriek of agony. The horrifying sound cut off with a gurgle, and her eyes rolled back into her head. Her body twitched, arched in Rosalie's arms, and then Bella vomited a fountain of blood.


Bella's body, streaming with red, started to twitch, jerking around in Rosalie's arms like she was being electrocuted. All the while, her face was blank - unconscious. It was the wild thrashing from inside the center of her body that moved her. As she convulsed, sharp snaps and cracks kept time with the spasms.

Rosalie and Edward were frozen for the shortest half second, and then they broke. Rosalie whipped Bella's body into her arms, and, shouting so fast it was hard to separate the individual words, she and Edward shot up the staircase to the second floor.

I sprinted after them.

"Morphine!" Edward yelled at Rosalie.

"Alice - get Carlisle on the phone!" Rosalie screeched.

The room I followed them to looked like an emergency ward set up in the middle of a library. The lights were brilliant and white. Bella was on a table under the glare, skin ghostly in the spotlight. Her body flopped, a fish on the sand. Rosalie pinned Bella down, yanking and ripping her clothes out of the way, while Edward stabbed a syringe into her arm.

How many times had I imagined her naked? Now I couldn't look. I was afraid to have these memories in my head.

"What's happening, Edward?"

"He's suffocating!"

"The placenta must have detached!"

Somewhere in this, Bella came around. She responded to their words with a shriek that clawed at my eardrums.

"Get him OUT!" she screamed. "He can't BREATHE! Do it NOW!"

I saw the red spots pop out when her scream broke the blood vessels in her eyes.

'The morphine - ," Edward growled.

"NO! NOW - !" Another gush of blood choked off what she was shrieking. He held her head up, desperately trying to clear her mouth so that she could breathe again.

Alice darted into the room and clipped a little blue earpiece under Rosalie's hair. Then Alice backed away, her gold eyes wide and burning, while Rosalie hissed frantically into the phone.

In the bright light, Bella's skin seemed more purple and black than it was white. Deep red was seeping beneath the skin over the huge, shuddering bulge of her stomach. Rosalie's hand came up with a scalpel.

"Let the morphine spread!" Edward shouted at her.

"There's no time," Rosalie hissed. "He's dying!"

Her hand came down on Bella's stomach, and vivid red spouted out from where she pierced the skin. It was like a bucket being turned over, a faucet twisted to full. Bella jerked, but didn't scream. She was still choking.

And then Rosalie lost her focus. I saw the expression on her face shift, saw her lips pull back from her teeth and her black eyes glint with thirst.

"No, Rose!" Edward roared, but his hands were trapped, trying to prop Bella upright so she could breathe.

I launched myself at Rosalie, jumping across the table without bothering to phase. As I hit her stone body, knocking her toward the door, I felt the scalpel in her hand stab deep into my left arm. My right palm smashed against her face, locking her jaw and blocking her airways.

I used my grip on Rosalie's face to swing her body out so that I could land a solid kick in her gut; it was like kicking concrete. She flew into the door frame, buckling one side of it. The little speaker in her ear crackled into pieces. Then Alice was there, yanking her by the throat to get her into the hall.

And I had to give it to Blondie - she didn't put up an ounce of fight. She wanted us to win. She let me trash her like that, to save Bella. Well, to save the thing.

I ripped the blade out of my arm.

'Alice, get her out of here!" Edward shouted. "Take her to Jasper and keep her there! Jacob, I need you!"

I didn't watch Alice finish the job. I wheeled back to the operating table, where Bella was turning blue, her eyes wide and staring.

"CPR?" Edward growled at me, fast and demanding.


I judged his face swiftly, looking for any sign that he was going to react like Rosalie. There was nothing but single-minded ferocity.

"Get her breathing! I've got to get him out before - "

Another shattering crack inside her body, the loudest yet, so loud that we both froze in shock waiting for her answering shriek. Nothing. Her legs, which had been curled up in agony, now went limp, sprawling out in an unnatural way.

"Her spine," he choked in horror.

"Get it out of her!" I snarled, flinging the scalpel at him. "She won't feel anything now!"

And then I bent over her head. Her mouth looked clear, so I pressed mine to hers and blew a lungful of air into it. I felt her twitching body expand, so there was nothing blocking her throat.

Her lips tasted like blood.

I could hear her heart, thumping unevenly. Keep it going, I thought fiercely at her, blowing another gust of air into her body. You promised. Keep your heart beating.

I heard the soft, wet sound of the scalpel across her stomach. More blood dripping to the floor.

The next sound jolted through me, unexpected, terrifying. Like metal being shredded apart. The sound brought back the fight in the clearing so many months ago, the tearing sound of the newborns being ripped apart. I glanced over to see Edward's face pressed against the bulge. Vampire teeth - a surefire way to cut through vampire skin.