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Midnight Sun (23. Race)

As I was kneeling down on the ground I felt sturdy hands bring me to my feet and the thoughts that accompanied them. Alice.

Edward, she's not dead. We have to hurry. I know where she's going!

I sprung to my feet and flew towards the parking structure, which luckily had a covered pathway. She didn't need to think or say any other words to get me to my feet and bring me from the almost catatonic state I was slipping to. Alice was running next to me while Carlisle, Emmett and Jasper were trailing behind. I whipped in and out of the many rows of cars looking for a vehicle that would be fast enough to save the precious life that had consumed me and filled me with a warmth I would never get back if she �C gulp �C were dead. All the while Alice was shouting orders and directions to all of us.

"Fifty-Eighth Street and Cactus," she was running next to Jasper now. "The Ballet Studio."

Several images floated across her mind to direct me where to go. I winced as the images also showed the death or newly created vampire life that was now Bella's future. A mixture of emotions poured into my mind. Pain. Grief. Agony. Relief? Would I feel relieved if she became a vampire?

"Carlisle, go with Edward," Alice continued to bark orders. "Jasper, Emmett �C you're with me."

I could see the inner workings of their minds as they mentally brought maps of the Phoenix area to the forefront trying to map the best possible routes to get to Bella.

I can't wait to get a piece of him. Emmett raced through the cars excitedly.

Another feeling �C anger �C was pulsing through my body in rapid fluid movements down my veins.

Emotions were filling me as I continued to witness and hear my families reactions to the human girl they once tried to condemn to death. I listened mostly to Jaspers rampant thoughts.

Take a left…wait, no, go straight. He was mentally mapping the area. I have to get to her in time… Edward. He winced at the feelings he could feel emitting off of my body. All the different emotions were heightened as each situation ran through my mind.

Alice. Jasper put a little more force behind each step he took. And Bella… He didn't understand his affection for her, but it was strongly there.

A shiny black car caught my eye as I dashed around a corner. I saw the little letters on the bumper that instantly pulled me to it �C SLK55 AMG. Mercedes. I didn't know who I was sending my thanks to, but I said it anyways. "Thank you," I mumbled.

Excellent, Alice had found an almost equally fast vehicle, a STSV Cadillac.

I gripped the door of the Mercedes hard enough that it easily opened, breaking the handle in the process. Alarms went off.

"Open the hood," Carlisle shouted.

I pressed the button for the hood and it flew up. The alarms stopped instantly. "Okay. Let's go." Carlisle yelled while slamming the hood shut. He ran back to the passenger's side door pulling it open and slumping to his seat, slamming the door.

Go.

He didn't need to tell me, I had already put the car in reverse and was flying out of the parking spot – Alice whizzing around the corner behind me. I put the car in first gear, and moved my feet so fast between letting off the clutch and pressing the accelerator that the car darted forward, squealed tires and flew out of the parking garage with an angry attendant screaming at us.

Carlisle was mentally listing all the possible supplies we might need once we arrived at the studio.

"What did Alice see again?"

"A lot of blood," something was obstructing my throat.

"Anything else?"

"Nothing obvious, it was blurry." Bella possibly becoming a vampire, I added mentally.

I shifted into second gear as we turned a corner, the RPM running close to red as I speed towards the I-ten. I pressed the accelerator down harder as I switched into third gear. The engine roared in approval at my speed. It was only point eight miles to the exit I needed to take.

Exit 147. Jasper thought mentally.

Alice was keeping up with me, practically trying to race me down the interstate �C we were in a race, a race to get to Bella. I flew past several cars as horns blared and hand gestures came flying out of windows. We both weaved in and out of traffic as I listened to Alice's thoughts to see which moves she would make next, making our driving seem synchronized.

A semi truck made it impossible to pass so Alice and I both moved into the emergency lane. I was finally hitting fifth gear as our exit loomed into view. I pushed the car faster as we turned off the exit.

Highway fifty-one, Emmett acknowledged.

I saw the mental map in his mind as I realized it would be a grueling thirteen point nine miles until we would reach our next turn. There were seven cars waiting at the red light right off the interstate.

We can make it without any accidents if we time this right. Alice pictured our best move through traffic and running the red light ahead of us. We both separated, moving together but separately as we flew through gravel and side shoulders to pass the many waiting cars. At the exact same time we flew through the red light, both of our back ends sliding out sideways. I put my car into first gear and threw my foot down on the accelerator. Tires squealed and smoke billowed out behind me as the car lurched forward.

Again, Alice and I drove in an intricate pattern in and out of traffic as she predicted the traffic light outcomes and our best possible routes.

Three minutes had passed since I stood at the end of the sidewalk, at the end of dark and light. If Bella had been turned into a vampire…I trailed off in thought as many mixed emotions swam around in my brain. I hit second gear and the car flew forcefully forward as I pressed the gas down.

Anxiety was ripping through me at the thought of Bella no longer living. Alice's vision was brought to the forefront of my mind as I began to think contingency plans. During Alice's insight I saw Bella's limp, dead and broken body strewn across the studio floor, blood covering every last inch of her. Alice saw me running into the room and bringing Bella to my chest, refusing to let go as I continued to try and listen for her beating heart that was no longer moving the precious blood that smelt so delicious.

Imagining my life without Bella was excruciating and I knew that if I were too late, I too would die. But how would I? Jasper wouldn't help, and neither would Emmett. I knew Carlisle would refuse to end my life and Esme would back him up. Even Rosalie would not take my life, even if I begged and graveled.

I shifted into third gear as we flew down the highway.

Cop ahead, slow down. Alice warned me, but I refused to let up on the accelerator. I pressed the pedal down harder as the car's RPM reached Eight thousand. I shifted into fourth gear and the car jerked forward.

I didn't bother to see what the outcome would be when I flew past the parked cop. He turned his lights on and began speeding down the road after me. What he didn't know was that I could read his mind. I knew exactly what his plans were and Alice could see the future outcomes of them and I would ultimately get away. The cop's sirens blared behind me as he called for backup. I put the car into third gear, advancing the Mercedes. Alice was now behind the cop, trying to distract him with her reckless driving.

The cops mind became incoherent with panic as Alice tried to run him off the road. When we finally had the cop between the two of us, he began to mutter under his breath little prayers to his god. Ahead was a car, and we were going to pass it, the cop was going to have to stop or wreck. As with most humans, their first reaction is to protect self. The cop slammed on his brakes while cussing loudly.

I put the car back into fourth gear as it advanced down highway fifty-one. We swerved in and out of more cars as traffic began building up as the morning hours ticked on. My skin began to glitter fantastically out the window as many pedestrians began to gawk at me as I drove by. I slammed the clutch in and threw the car into fifth gear. Another lurch forward and the car went flying past several vehicles and buildings, making them almost blurry.

The quicker my speed became the more Alice's vision began to change, but it was still too cloudy to depict the outcome. I blocked out her visions because I was afraid they would bring me into a false sense of security. I saw East Lincoln Drive and knew that we were bang on course. I stomped the clutch down again as I brought the car into sixth gear. I was now flying through cars along with Alice going one twenty five. Each second that passed me felt like an eternity.

Come on Alice, press the damn gas down, Jasper roared in his head.

I didn't understand his thoughts. He had no connection to Bella, no link of any kind. If she were to perish, he would survive, but he continued to press the imaginary gas pedal from the passenger's side.

Traffic was backing up down several blocks now and I had to find a way around them all. I mentally began mapping other roads in my mind.

They will all be blocked. Alice informed me.

With each new plan and thought I was thwarted by more traffic, more people and vehicles all pilling up on top of each other while Bella was nearing death. Cold fury swept through me as I yanked the car to a hard right and was now driving along the wide sidewalk next to several businesses. People were diving into the street and backing up against buildings as I speed past, Alice closely behind me. The chill that was in my stomach seemed to surge icy cold as my fear and panic rose with each second.

During our drive Carlisle sat calmly in the passenger seat as we exposed ourselves and attracted unwanted attention. I hadn't been paying attention to his thoughts but finally noticed the calm composure that he had.

"Why are you so calm?" I yelled.

I want to save her life as much as you. We need to hurry �C and if we have to make the papers, then so be it. Carlisle shot me a smile.

His face was sparkling spectacularly, sending rainbows and waves of color out of the vehicle as we finally hopped off the sidewalk. I shifted down into third gear as I slowed behind some more cars. As soon as the way was clear I slammed the accelerator down, speeding down the road once more, pushing the clutch in to change into fourth.

I brought the mental map back to the forefront of my mind as I tabulated how much longer it would be before we would be turning onto Cactus. I saw the street sign a quarter of a mile away and the car automatically went forcefully forward to punctuate my need. At long last I was going to be close enough to Bella that I would be able to hear her heart beat.

As we approached the turn I refused to slow down. I stomped on the brake as it came upon us and sent the car sliding sideways until I was turned ninety degrees from where I was before, speeding hastily down Cactus. My stomach was screwed tight with pain when I heard the fluttering noise of an angel. Bella's heart was not thrumming at its normal pulse; it was quickened, yet pumping sluggishly at the same time. My heart lifted in spite of myself as I realized she was still alive. Relief so exquisite that it was nearly pain entered my body, but was suddenly replaced by anger.

I made my way quickly down the road as we passed malls and parks where people were happily oblivious to the danger just blocks away. I saw Carlisle give an appreciative nod as I flipped the car into third gear, watching the RPM meter fly up until I grabbed the shifter and slammed it into fourth gear. I saw Carlisle grab the handles inside the car ready to eject himself out into the street to get to Bella.

An upsurge of noise erupted in my mind as I heard Bella's cries of agony and scream ripping through the morning air. I could hear the mental pleasure in James' thoughts as he threw her body across the room. I turned a tortured face to Carlisle as he added to his mental list of possible supplies he would need once we arrived to the studio.

A red haze clouded my visions as we drove closer �C we were now only a block away. The vision in Alice's mind was solidifying and what I saw ripped my heart in two. Bella �C a vampire. The monster, my monster, which had been so eager to escape, was now being liberated. Brutal violence ripped through my body and out through my fingertips as I gripped the steering wheel tighter. I could hear James' delicately inflected voice "That's a very nice effect."

Carlisle was stealing glances in my direction as we finally reached Fifty-Eighth Street. I barely slowed down as I drove the vehicle so close to the entrance it was only inches away from touching the glass doors. I could hear Bella's pulse reaching danger point as I practically pulled the car door off its hinges trying to get to her. I didn't bother opening the studio doors as I left Edward shaped holes in the glass.

The second I entered the building the most delicious smell filled my lungs and I paused for only a brief fraction of a second to take in the aroma before my eyes fell immediately upon the monster hovering over Bella. It was a scene of total devastation – glass was strewn across the floor and blood glittered in the sunlight coming from the windows. My eyes were solely focused on Bella, though. Her limp body lay unmoving and broken �C bleeding. My worst fears had come to life. My view was suddenly obliterated by anger as I dived into James, sending him flying across the studio. He began snapping at me but I held him up around the throat, tightening my grip.

Behind me I heard Bella gasping and groaning in agony. James struggled in my grip as Jasper flew up behind me, grabbing James' arm and ripping it off. I looked over my shoulder to see Emmett plummeting through the studio, his expression rapt and exultant at his new prey. I let go of James, realizing Bella needed me more. I was not oblivious to Jasper's thirst, which he kept in check as he had a different type of prey to attend to now. Carlisle was not far behind as he helped Jasper and Emmett kill the one creature I would personally like to torture for an eternity.

Alice had already rushed to Bella's side. Bella's breathing was harsh and ragged as she took several heavy panting breaths. I ran over to Bella, kneeling in a pool of blood. I didn't even bother to hold my breath, as each flame that ripped down my throat only punctuated the fact that she was still alive, her heart was still beating. My hands moved over her but I didn't know what to do as her body finally went limp.

"Oh no, Bella, no." I cried out, rubbing the blood from her eyes. Pain in dimensions that I had never felt before tore my body to pieces. I could feel the tearing of my heart �C her heart. "Bella, please!" I begged for her to return to me, to just show me a sign that she was conscious. "Bella, listen to me, please, please, Bella, please!" I pleaded as heavy tearless sobs sent my body into near convulsions.

"Carlisle," I shouted behind me with a bite of impatience. I turned back to Bella who was lying aslant, like her body had been broken in many places. Fragments of glass were deeply imbedded into her hair. I watched as dark red and gluttonous blood flowed rapidly from her head and leg. I swallowed my venom back. "Bella, Bella, no, oh please, no, no!" Another tearless sob.

I listened as her heart began to move sluggishly, like there wasn't enough blood on her body to keep it going.

I'll try to stop the bleeding. Alice moved towards Bella's head and put pressure on her wound. The blood instantly stopped leaking from her head. There was no hesitation in Alice's thoughts �C her mind had one mission, and that was to save Bella.

Bella became paler and damper than normal and her skin grew cold. I heard running footsteps behind me as Carlisle slid to the floor and began working over her immediately, putting pressure on her leg wound. Tears seeped through her eyelids before they opened wide with pain and a cry came through her lips. Her cry was like a stimulant. "Bella," I cried as relief swelled in me indescribably.

Carlisle began his inventory mentally. "She's lost some blood, but the head wound isn't deep. Watch out for her leg, it's broken."

Icy cold rage filled my body like acid and a feral growl ripped up my lips. Cuss words went flying through my mind quickly as I imagined all the ways I would like to tear James' apart, put him back together and do it again, just for fun.

Carlisle continued his inventory by feeling for other broken bones. He moved over Bella's ribs. She jerked and another sob escaped her lips, her eyes were blank, like she couldn't see clearly.

"Edward," Bella mumbled with an unearthly and beautiful sound. It was the most glorious and welcomed voice I had ever heard in my entire existence.

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