This story contains some mild language, suspense, romance, and some frightening situations—13 and older, please.

Summary: War between the Lycans and the Vampires is on the horizon after Edward and Bella encounter an ancient creature with ties to both species. And if that wasn't enough…it is discovered that Bella is much more than what she seems.

It's a race against time, against a mutating virus that threatens both the vampires and the lycans—and against the power-hungry Volturi.

In the Grips of Twilight

By:

Olivia Tannis Moore

Disclaimer: The usual disclaimer comes with this story.

Preface

I picked up the document that Charlie had removed from the envelope. I couldn't get over how official it appeared; right down to the Volterra academic seal. It occurred to me then, that my secret life was now engulfing me; that for almost a year I'd flirted at the edges, but now I was front and center—no longer playing among the vampires, but soon to be one of them, sort of.

Chapter One: Frenzy

If someone would've told me that I would wake up that October morning and begin an adventure of a lifetime, I would've snored in their face. Nothing lucky or fantastical had ever happened to me—outside of Edward Cullen, that is. But that was about to change in a big way.

I awoke to the sound of birds twittering outside my window and was loath to remove my face from the pillow. If it was sunny outside Edward wouldn't be at school today—and I desperately needed him to be. Our argument the day before had left me sleepless until the early hours, tossing and turning, replaying those hateful words I'd said to him. Oh, how I wanted to take those words back…

Tentatively, I opened my eyes and sighed with relief: nothing but clouds in the sky.
Dense, white-gray clouds. I threw the bedcovers off and literally jumped from the bed. And as I rummaged through my dresser drawers in search of a particular blue sweater, I grinned for the first time since our argument. I'd make things right between us today—apologize, beg for his forgiveness, and keep my big mouth shut for a while. He and I always fought about the same two things, and neither one of us would give in, so sure that each was right, the other wrong. Yesterday, it was the immortality issue...for the millionth time.

I gave my hair one last brushing and went downstairs where the unmistakable smell of Charlie's bacon and egg breakfast lingered in the air. A quick look at the clock told me I didn't have time for my usual bowl of cereal, but then my stomach was too jittery for food anyways. Besides, if I hurried to school there was the chance I might see Edward in the parking lot. Maybe he felt as bad as I did about our fight and was waiting on me with words of regret. With high hopes, I grabbed my rain parka and hurried to the truck.

When I pulled in to the parking lot, Edward's silver Volvo was already there, but no Edward as I'd hoped. I sighed. I deserved this, no question about it…but I wanted to make things right as soon as possible. It disturbed me to no end to be in this anger-limbo. I needed his lopsided smile, his cold hand on my shoulder, the small of my back, reassuring me. Now, I'd have to wait until second period English class to talk to him.

The hallways were noisier than usual; there was an excitement in the air that I'd noticed since entering the front door. Heads were leaned over, books clutched tightly to chests, frantic whisperings, and I heard: new girl, new girl, new girl between the high-pitched nervous giggles. Ah, so that was the hub-bub. I felt a twinge of pity for her, this new girl who had become the object of intrigue in a school small enough to hunger for any excuse for a distraction.

I'd just opened my locker when Jessica suddenly appeared at my side looking as if she were about to pop. "Have you heard?" she asked breathlessly.

I smiled and said, "I caught wind of it. Something about a new girl."

Jessica leaned over and whispered, "Her name is Elena Sheridan. She's a senior—like us."

"Really?" I said, feigning interest. I was more than happy to relinquish the new-girl-title to someone else. After all, I'd held it for almost a year now. Not that I was new news anymore. Out with the old, in with the new, I say.

"Oh, Bella," she continued to whisper in an anxious tone, "she's drop-dead gorgeous."

I grinned and shook my head at her. "Yeah? Well, so is Rosalie and Alice Cullen, and Mike seems pretty safe from their beautiful, wicked ways." Poor Jessica, she tended to be a bit insecure when it came to her relationship with Mike.

Jessica shook her head. "Bella…you don't understand. From what I saw, she's clearly interested in Edward… You should've seen the way she flirted with him. It was scandalous!"

"What do you mean by interested?" My eyes narrowed on Jessica's flushed face. Ordinarily, I would have waved off such jealousy. I knew the effect Edward had on the female sex, young and old. I'd pretty much made my peace with it. But the fight we'd had yesterday…the ugliness and hurt we'd inflicted on one another. My stomach tightened into pinching little knots.

Jessica was only too eager to tell me. "She's convinced Ms. Cope that Edward should be the one to give her a tour of the campus and help her find her classes her first week."

"I didn't get a tour—" I said under my breath. "A whole week?"

"And Edward didn't seem too put out by the prospect of escorting her to her classes, either," Jessica added.

"Thanks for letting me know," I said, slamming my locker door. I'd walked quite a distance down the hall before realizing that my first period Economics class was in the opposite direction. Sadly, that would be the theme for Edward and me for the upcoming weeks—always moving in opposite directions.