I shuddered as I blew more air into Bella.
She coughed back at me, her eyes blinking, rolling blindly.
"You stay with me now, Bella!" I yelled at her. "Do you hear me? Stay! You're not leaving me. Keep your heart beating!"
Her eyes wheeled, looking for me, or him, but seeing nothing.
I stared into them anyway, keeping my gaze locked there.
And then her body was suddenly still under my hands, though her breathing picked up roughly and her heart continued to thud. I realized the stillness meant that it was over. The internal beating was over. It must be out of her.
Edward whispered, "Renesmee."
So Bella'd been wrong. It wasn't the boy she'd imagined. No big surprise there. What hadn't she been wrong about?
I didn't look away from her red-spotted eyes, but I felt her hands lift weakly.
"Let me...," she croaked in a broken whisper. "Give her to me."
I guess I should have known that he would always give her what she wanted, no matter how stupid her request might be. But I didn't dream he would listen to her now. So I didn't think to stop him.
Something warm touched my arm. That right there should have caught my attention. Nothing felt warm to me.
But I couldn't look away from Bella's face. She blinked and then stared, finally seeing something. She moaned out a strange, weak croon.
"Renes... mee. So... beautiful."
And then she gasped - gasped in pain.
By the time I looked, it was too late. Edward had snatched the warm, bloody thing out of her limp arms. My eyes flickered across her skin. It was red with blood - the blood that had flowed from her mouth, the blood smeared all over the creature, and fresh blood welling out of a tiny double-crescent bite mark just over her left breast.
"No, Renesmee," Edward murmured, like he was teaching the monster manners.
I didn't look at him or it. I watched only Bella as her eyes rolled back into her head.
With a last dull ga-lump, her heart faltered and went silent.
She missed maybe half of one beat, and then my hands were on her chest, doing compressions, i counted in my head, trying to keep the rhythm steady. One. Two. Three. Four.
Breaking away for a second, I blew another lungful of air into her.
I couldn't see anymore. My eyes were wet and blurry. But I was hyperaware of the sounds in the room. Theunwillingglug-glug of her heart under my demanding hands, the pounding of my own heart, and another - a fluttering beat that was too fast, too light. I couldn't place it.
I forced more air down Bella's throat.
"What are you waiting for?" I choked out breathlessly, pumping her heart again. One. Two. Three. Four.
"Take the baby," Edward said urgently.
'Throw it out the window." One. Two. Three. Four.
"Give her to me," a low voice chimed from the doorway.
Edward and I snarled at the same time.
One. Two. Three. Four.
"I've got it under control," Rosalie promised. "Give me the baby, Edward. Til take care of her until Bella ..."
I breathed for Bella again while the exchange took place. The fluttering thumpa-thumpa-thumpa faded away with distance.
"Move your hands, Jacob."
I looked up from Bella's white eyes, still pumping her heart for her. Edward had a syringe in his hand - all silver, like it was made from steel.
His stone hand knocked mine out of the way. There was a tiny crunch as his blow broke my little finger. In the same second, he shoved the needle straight into her heart.
"My venom," he answered as he pushed the plunger down.
I heard the jolt in her heart, like he'd shocked her with paddles.
"Keep it moving," he ordered. His voice was ice, was dead. Fierce and unthinking. Like he was a
I ignored the healing ache in my finger and started pumping her heart again. It was harder, as if her blood was congealing there - thicker and slower. While I pushed the now-viscous blood through her arteries, I watched what he was doing.
It was like he was kissing her, brushing his lips at her throat, at her wrists, into the crease at the inside of her arm. But I could hear the lush tearing of her skin as his teeth bit through, again and again, forcing venom into her system at as many points as possible. I saw his pale tongue sweep along the bleeding gashes, but before this could make me either sick or angry, I realized what he was doing. Where his tongue washed the venom over her skin, it sealed shut. Holding the poison and the blood inside her body.
I blew more air into her mouth, but there was nothing there. Just the lifeless rise of her chest in response. I kept pumping her heart, counting, while he worked manically over her, trying to put her back together. All the king's horses and all the king's men...
But there was nothing there, just me, just him.
Working over a corpse.
Because that's all that was left of the girl we both loved. This broken, bled-out, mangled corpse. We couldn't put Bella together again.
I knew it was too late. I knew she was dead. I knew it for sure because the pull was gone. I didn't feel any reason to be here beside her. She wasn't here anymore. So this body had no more draw for me. The senseless need to be near her had vanished.
Or maybe moved was the better word. It seemed like I felt the pull from the opposite direction now. From down the stairs, out the door. The longing to get away from here and never, ever come back.
"Go, then," he snapped, and he hit my hands out of the way again, taking my place this time. Three fingers broken, it felt like.
I straightened them numbly, not minding the throb of pain.
He pushed her dead heart faster than I had.
"She's not dead," he growled. "She's going to be fine."