CHAPTER TWELVE

A/N: This is short but important.


"Stay away from her." Anna demanded as James stalked towards them.

Bella had been tricked; their mother had never been in any danger. The tracker had stolen home videos to convince Bella he had stolen Renée. The twins' mother hadn't even left Florida. Bella felt relieved at the new information but Anna was infuriated. How dare he? How dare he use their mother to manipulate Bella.

Steel edged its way into her tone and her dark eyes were colder than the predator before her. At the sight of his smirk, her eyes narrowed and she fixed him with a determined glare. Humour glinted in his blood red eyes of the killer as he stepped towards them. One singular step. It was far too close for Anna's liking and the hairs on her arms raised in warning. For the past five minutes, James had been taunting Bella about how easy she had made the game for him. He sounded disappointed as he spoke, making the older girl sick to her stomach. Or that could be the fact that she hadn't eaten in near twenty hours. A video camera had been trained on them but Anna shoved her sister behind her. Spine straight and hands unwavering, Anna was prepared to defend her wounded sister until her dying breath.

After revealing that he had known Alice prior to her becoming a vampire, James had backhanded Bella into the mirrors. Her head bashed into the glass. Before James could get there, Anna had plucked her up off the floor and placed herself in front of her.

"A valiant effort but one that is ultimately useless. I'm sure Emmett will be furious but I welcome a challenge."

With a swift motion, the tracker sent Anna careening into a trophy case. Glass shattered around her and the sharp shards sliced her pale skin. Blood oozed out of the cuts and a stinging sensation raced across her arms, face and scalp. A larger piece protruded from her side. A scream pounded inside her skull and she barely registered that the sound had been her name. Lying on her back, Anna groaned in pain as her head turned to watch the killer stride back over to Bella, who was had slumped the floor the moment her sister was no longer there as support. A metallic scent filled the room and James' head snapped between the twins. Anna's scent called to him but the scent of her fear would be intoxicating.

"No!" She screeched when he stood over her sister.

Bringing down his leg, the resonating sound of breaking bone bounced off the walls. Grinning as the older girl forced herself to her feet, he brought Bella's wrist up to his mouth. Anna's heart stopped. Her feet were too slow. Pounding across the studio, she heard the moment his teeth sank into the soft flesh of Bella's wrist. Leaping across the small distance left, Anna planned to land on his back and wrench him off her but before she landed, he spun and bat her away. Like she was nothing more than a bothersome fly. Following the arc her body had made, James reached her even before her body stopped sailing through the hair. A hand wrapped around her throat and slammed her into the floor. Upon impact, Anna heard something crack and an agonised scream bubbled past her lips. Seeping out the corner of her mouth, blood trickled down the side of her neck. Bella pleaded for him to stop but her words were swallowed up by her own screams.

Grinning at his handiwork, James bent down and placed his mouth on Anna's neck. Fire coursed through her body and her back arched off the ground despite her broken spine. Shirt torn above her breast, James bit down on her collarbone so that the venom made its way to her heart at a faster pace. Not yet satisfied with the damage he had done, fangs sank into Anna's shoulder. The fire spread from her neck, to her bicep and down to the palm of her hand. Just as James bit into her hip, a furious roar ripped through the room and his body was torn from hers, teeth tearing away a chunk of flesh. Screeches tumbled from her mouth as her body thrashed wildly. Her blood was boiling and her veins decaying. Voices floated all around her before they faded and all she could hear was the frantic pumping of her heart. It worked tirelessly to keep her alive but it was futile. An inferno raged within her body and her bones burnt away to nothing, She was nothing. She was volcanic. All that mattered was the flames devouring her body, Venom eroded away the remnants of humanity that she clung to. Death was so close and yet not close enough as she let out another shriek.

Cold hands on the side of her face provided short lived release, and they moved down to her arms as they prodded away at her injuries. They moved with more fervour as they realised blood had stopped pouring from the open wounds.

"Anna? Can you hear me? Oh, God. Anna!"

The perfect melody of his voice broke through her burning haze. She had never been happier for his presence. Her head lolled to the side so that she could see his stony face. Teeth gritted against the pain, the dying girl strung a coherent sentenced together and begged the auburn-haired angel to leave her there. Someone else needed his help and perhaps she was still able to be saved. Reluctance flitted across his face momentarily but he didn't hesitate to dart across the room and rip James off his Mate.

Bella is safe, she thought, the fight leaving her body. Blood stained Edward's hands and he had to force himself to ignore the heart that grew weaker each second. He could barely hear it as he shoved James a second time. All he could smell was the crimson liquid surrounding his brother's mate; the overwhelming scent was what had drawn him to her body first. A mass of blond curls appeared in the corner of his vision as Jasper joined, wrestling James into a headlock. Like an angel of death, Alice descended onto James' shoulders and tried to keep him still.

Agony reverberated around the dance studio as Emmett caught sight of his Mate. An anguished sound rumbled through his body and he fell to his knees beside her body. She was so pale and her skin so cold. Pained whimpers fell past her lips but the Cullens tried to block them out as they focused on the monster between them. Staggering slightly, Jasper rubbed at the scars on his arms, feeling the phantom pain of them. He could also feel the very real pain that Anna was feeling as the bite marks littering her upper body shone bright against her skin. Broken eyes turned to look at Carlisle as Emmett begged Carlisle to fix the woman he loved. Still thrashing wildly, it was becoming harder for them to hold her down (a negative sign that she was beyond saving). Recognising the look on Carlisle's face, Emmett shook his head, refusing to believe the truth.

"I'm sorry, son, but she's too far gone. There's nothing left to do but be there for her whe. She wakes." Carlisle said, a hand on Emmett's shoulder.

He wished it wasn't so. He liked the vibrant girl and (if she had ever wanted to be changed) he wanted her to be a part of the family but in a manner of her choosing. None of the Cullens had happy backstories and now Anna was just another member who had been turned with trauma. Begrudgingly turning away from the hurting couple, Carlisle flitted over to the patient who could still be saved from such a terrible fate. Ripping up floorboards, Alice placed them around Bella's leg before using a belt to tie them tightly together to brace her broken leg. As she was doing so, her hands trembled as a crunching sound filled her ears. Either Anna had splintered the bones in her spine or they were realigning themselves. Either way, it wasn't good news. Carlisle exhaled and Jasper groaned in pain again. Her emotions hit him hard as he had been surrounded by them for the past four days and nothing was more excruciating than the Change. Briefly aware of his brother tasting human blood for the first time in hundreds of years, Emmett felt a flicker of resentment towards Edward.

He can save his Mate and I failed mine, he sneered, Bella gets to remain human when all she wants is to change, but I have to watch mine die before me.

Since his own Change, Emmett had been grateful that he was unable to cry. Tears were the sign of sorrow and he hadn't wanted to waste his existence being sad. Staring down at the pale body of his beloved - her face contorted beyond recognition as she battled the pain - Emmett wished he could sob. She was about to lose so much. Food would turn to ash in her mouth and she would never again know the delight of chicken pie (her favourite food he had learnt when they were holed up in the library). Rain and snow would no longer freeze her, and the sun wouldn't warm her. Sunday strolls through the woods would irritate her because the pace would be slower than her body liked and -.

More importantly, she would lose her friends and family. Whilst the boy irked him, Emmett was sad that Tyler could no longer be a part of Anna's life. They had an easy friendship and the irritating male always put a smile on her face. Now she would never be able to see him again lest she rip out his throat. Charlie would be one daughter short and the twins would never be two halves of a whole. Anna's life was about to change forever and it was a life she had probably never wanted. Only a few short days ago, the notion of vampires existing had terrified and disgusted her. If she didn't die, she would instead be one of them. All because Emmett had been too late and too stupid.

I should've stayed with her, he chastised. I never would've let her go off by herself. However, he knew that ultimately she still would've entered that bathroom without him, and would still have been gone. It was unfair of him to blame Jasper. A snarl tore free from his chest and he was on his feet, turning so that he could decapitate the monster that had violated his perfect, human Anna.

"No." Rosalie ground out, forcing him back. "She needs you."

All of the Cullens were attacked by the sweet aroma of the combined Swan blood. Thirst never really got easier, and Rosalie was surprised to see that Emmett didn't seem affected by the mouthwatering substance. Anna was covered in it but he didn't seem to notice as he held her slack hand.

"Kill him for me." Emmett snarled.

Nodding once, Rosalie spun on her heel before speeding across the room. Springing into the air, her body arched over the top of James and when she landed perfectly, his head was in her hands. Esme and Jasper ripped his arms clean from his body and chucked them onto the small fire burning in the middle of the room. Satisfied that vengeance had been enacted, Emmett pulled the small body into his arms. The screams had stopped and now her mouth opened silently. Her chest shuddered with soft sobs. Brushing back the hair that had plastered itself to her forehead with swear, Emmett whimpered when he couldn't feel the pulsing of her veins. Certain that Bella wouldn't be transitioning anytime soon, Carlisle was by Anna's side once more. Everyone listened as her heart attempted to thump another two times before it fell silent. Esme gasped and a quiet 'oh' left Alice.

"She's changing too quickly!" Carlisle assessed. "I've never seen anything like it before. You need to take her home now. She doesn't have long left. Rose and Ashton, go with Emmett. We'll deal with this. Now!"

Springing into action, Rosalie hurried off to steal a car that would be fast enough to make the journey whilst Ashton rushed over to Emmett. Refusing to accept help, Emmett protectively scooped the fragile piece of his heart into his arms. Together, the trio hurried the dead girl back to Forks, terrified as the soft part of Emmett's soul hardened in his arms.


A/N: I may have slightly accelerated the transition process because I didn't want to drag it out for days.