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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



hyperhazard posted:

Is Mormon sex ed this bad?

Yes.

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HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


Been lurking in the thread for a while just reading along. Forgot how poo poo this stuff was.

So I think I've mentioned my high school buddy who was really into these books. She knew they were bad but it still appealed to her. I liked to let her chatter about it because it was like looking into another world lol. She often remarked that she didn't understand the "love triangle" angle because in her opinion there was never any question about Bella being in love with Edward, and she mostly felt sorry for Jacob because he was just being used as a replacement.

This book though. Holy poo poo. It was an entire deal when it came out. One of the local high school moms held a book release party at her home. It reminded me of Harry Potter book release parties except it was all Halloween themed. (Iirc the fourth Twilight book came out in the summer.) The one cool feature about it was that the host had a good idea and put up a projector to show old vampire movies while we ate chips. There were also sheets of paper for us to draw on and decorate. I made sure to spread lots of Edward/Jacob propaganda (I did the cutesy hearts and gigantic bubble letters on the paper sheets to proclaim their OTPness) and iirc I tried to convince one of the high school girls attending the party that homosexual love was the only unselfish form of love because the two parties couldn't abuse each other for children or something lol.

Then another mom drove up and she had boxes of the books in her backseat or something. It's fuzzy now, I still don't know why she had them but around 12:30 or 1:00an she was driving up with them and passing them out. To my memory it was very surreal because the middle aged moms were just as into it as their daughters. My only experience with book parties was Harry Potter and then it was my bemused Dad helping me put on the temporary tattoos on my forehead lol.

And then my mom picked me up and I went home. My buddy was already reading the book but I made her promise that she would call me when she was done with it.

WELL. 8am comes and my cell phone explodes. First with texts and then with her calls. I pick up and hooooleeeee shiiiiiiiiiit she was enraged.

"BELLA HAS A BABY"

"A...baby?"

"YEAH A BABY"

"Like in the book?"

"YEAH SHE GOT PREGNANT AND HAD A BABY"

"But isn't Edward like, dead? How are his balls still working?"

"I DON'T KNOW NONE OF IT MAKES SENSE OH MY GOD BELLA HAS A BABY IT WAS SO GROSS"

"What do you mean 'gross?'"

"STEPHANIE WROTE THE BIRTHING SCENE BUT IT WAS AWFUL"

"Like the baby coming out!?"

"YEAH BUT SHE MADE IT loving DISGUSTING ITS EVEN WORSE THAN NORMAL OH MY GOD WHAT DID SHE DO TO POOR JACOB"

I won't give additional details so as to not ruin the surprise. But that's my earliest memories of this book. Meyer just pushed it too far and the suspension of disbelief couldn't hold up.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Robert Pattinson has said that the birth scene as filmed was originally so graphic that it would have been rated NC-17 without cuts.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

chitoryu12 posted:

Robert Pattinson has said that the birth scene as filmed was originally so graphic that it would have been rated NC-17 without cuts.

That needs some supporting evidence, there are a lot of “omigod it was soooo gross you guys, no I can’t show it to you but trust me it was so crazy!!!” claims around stuff like that and I’m not going to believe an MPAA evaluation from a man who demonstrably can’t identify a microwave oven.

PetraCore
Jul 20, 2017





Midjack posted:

That needs some supporting evidence, there are a lot of “omigod it was soooo gross you guys, no I can’t show it to you but trust me it was so crazy!!!” claims around stuff like that and I’m not going to believe an MPAA evaluation from a man who demonstrably can’t identify a microwave oven.
I mean if they tried to film what happens in the book accurately it sounds plausible.

Grammarchist
Jan 28, 2013



I am now stone faced and at the edge of my seat.

Shwoo
Jul 21, 2011


The fetus gets its first taste of Blood and Death™, and bursts ravenously out of Bella's abdomen for more.

...Wait, that's not actually what happens, is it? It's not inconsistent with what little I do know about the birth scene.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 13: Good Thing I've Got a Strong Stomach

quote:

Carlisle and Rosalie were off in a flash, darting upstairs. I could hear them debating whether they should warm it up for her. Ugh. I wondered what all house-of-horrors stuff they kept around here. Fridge full of blood, check. What else? Torture chamber? Coffin room?

I have shocking news for you about the practicality of refrigerators for storing food!

quote:

Edward stayed, holding Bella’s hand. His face was dead again. He didn’t seem to have the energy to keep up even that little hint of hope he’d had before. They stared into each other’s eyes, but not in a gooey way. It was like they were having a conversation. Kind of reminded me of Sam and Emily.

No, it wasn’t gooey, but that only made it harder to watch.

Gooey.

quote:

I knew what it was like for Leah, having to see that all the time. Having to hear it in Sam’s head. Of course we all felt bad for her, we weren’t monsters—in that sense, anyway. But I guess we’d blamed her for how she handled it. Lashing out at everyone, trying to make us all as miserable as she was.

I would never blame her again. How could anyone help spreading this kind of misery around? How could anyone not try to ease some of the burden by shoving a little piece of it off on someone else?

And if it meant that I had to have a pack, how could I blame her for taking my freedom? I would do the same. If there was a way to escape this pain, I’d take it, too.

Oh gently caress off! Leah wasn't "spreading misery" because she had an impulse to "shove the burden" onto other people. She had no choice but to make everyone feel her emotions because they're all connected to a hive mind and she's in a traumatic and depressing situation. Instead of actually trying to understand and help her, the rest of the pack shunned her for not just repressing everything to keep them happy. If Leah was trying to make them all miserable, it would have been a completely justified reaction to them behaving so callously toward what happened to her.

Even as he claims he's never blaming her again, he's still blaming her. He's not coming to a true understanding about what her feelings were and how they made her feel worse for having them. He's just blowing her off as wanting to hurt people on purpose to make herself feel better. Especially rich coming from the guy who handled being rejected by his crush by repeatedly sexually assaulting her and threatening suicide to get away with it.

quote:

Rosalie darted downstairs after a second, flying through the room like a sharp breeze, stirring up the burning smell. She stopped inside the kitchen, and I heard the creak of a cupboard door.

“Not clear, Rosalie,” Edward murmured. He rolled his eyes.

Bella looked curious, but Edward just shook his head at her.

Rosalie blew back through the room and disappeared again.

“This was your idea?” Bella whispered, her voice rough as she strained to make it loud enough for me to hear. Forgetting that I could hear just fine. I kind of liked how, a lot of the time, she seemed to forget that I wasn’t completely human. I moved closer, so that she wouldn’t have to work so hard.

...why do you like that?

quote:

“Don’t blame me for this one. Your vampire was just picking snide comments out of my head.”

She smiled a little. “I didn’t expect to see you again.”

“Yeah, me, either,” I said.

It felt weird just standing here, but the vampires had shoved all the furniture out of the way for the medical setup. I imagined that it didn’t bother them—sitting or standing didn’t make much difference when you were stone. Wouldn’t bother me much, either, except that I was so exhausted.

“Edward told me what you had to do. I’m sorry.”

“S’okay. It was probably only a matter of time till I snapped over something Sam wanted me to do,” I lied.

"Most of us are pretty terrible a lot of the time, honestly."

quote:

“And Seth,” she whispered.

“He’s actually happy to help.”

“I hate causing you trouble.”

I laughed once—more a bark than a laugh.

She breathed a faint sigh. “I guess that’s nothing new, is it?”

“No, not really.”

It's been so long, I forgot it's only been like 6 months in-universe since the events of New Moon.

quote:

“You don’t have to stay and watch this,” she said, barely mouthing the words.

I could leave. It was probably a good idea. But if I did, with the way she looked right now, I could be missing the last fifteen minutes of her life.

“I don’t really have anywhere else to go,” I told her, trying to keep the emotion out of my voice. “The wolf thing is a lot less appealing since Leah joined up.”

“Leah?” she gasped.

"The person we've all been primed to hate?"

quote:

“You didn’t tell her?” I asked Edward.

He just shrugged without moving his eyes from her face. I could see it wasn’t very exciting news to him, not something worth sharing with the more important events that were going down.

Bella didn’t take it so lightly. It looked like it was bad news to her.

“Why?” she breathed.

I didn’t want to get into the whole novel-length version. “To keep an eye on Seth.”

“But Leah hates us,” she whispered.

Us. Nice. I could see that she was afraid, though.

There is no reason to be afraid of Leah.

quote:

“Leah’s not going to bug anyone.” But me. “She’s in my pack”—I grimaced at the words—“so she follows my lead.” Ugh.

Bella didn’t look convinced.

“You’re scared of Leah, but you’re best buds with the psychopath blonde?”

There was a low hiss from the second floor. Cool, she’d heard me.

Bella frowned at me. “Don’t. Rose… understands.”

“Yeah,” I grunted. “She understands that you’re gonna die and she doesn’t care, s’long as she gets her mutant spawn out of the deal.”

“Stop being a jerk, Jacob,” she whispered.

She looked too weak to get mad at. I tried to smile instead. “You say that like it’s possible.”

It's not, but he's actually right for once. He's just picking the wrong way to solve that problem.

quote:

Bella tried not to smile back for a second, but she couldn’t help it in the end; her chalky lips pulled up at the corners.

And then Carlisle and the psycho in question were there. Carlisle had a white plastic cup in his hand—the kind with a lid and a bendy straw. Oh—not clear; now I got it. Edward didn’t want Bella to have to think about what she was doing any more than necessary. You couldn’t see what was in the cup at all. But I could smell it.

Now I'm wondering if the Cullens ever brought cups of blood with bendy straws to school.

quote:

Carlisle hesitated, the hand with the cup half-extended. Bella eyed it, looking scared again.

“We could try another method,” Carlisle said quietly.

“No,” Bella whispered. “No, I’ll try this first. We don’t have time.…”

At first I thought she’d finally gotten a clue and was worried about herself, but then her hand fluttered feebly against her stomach.

Bella reached out and took the cup from him. Her hand shook a little, and I could hear the sloshing from inside. She tried to prop herself up on one elbow, but she could barely lift her head. A whisper of heat brushed down my spine as I saw how frail she’d gotten in less than a day.

Does anyone know about blood bags coagulating in the fridge?

quote:

Rosalie put her arm under Bella’s shoulders, supporting her head, too, like you did with a newborn. Blondie was all about the babies.

“Thanks,” Bella whispered. Her eyes flickered around at us. Still aware enough to feel self-conscious. If she wasn’t so drained, I’d bet she’d’ve blushed.

“Don’t mind them,” Rosalie murmured.

It made me feel awkward. I should’ve left when Bella’d offered the chance. I didn’t belong here, being part of this. I thought about ducking out, but then I realized a move like that would only make this worse for Bella—make it harder for her to go through with it. She’d figure I was too disgusted to stay. Which was almost true.

Still. While I wasn’t going to claim responsibility for this idea, I didn’t want to jinx it, either.

Bella lifted the cup to her face and sniffed at the end of the straw. She

flinched, and then made a face.

“Bella, sweetheart, we can find an easier way,” Edward said, holding his hand out for the cup.

“Plug your nose,” Rosalie suggested. She glared at Edward’s hand like she might take a snap at it. I wished she would. I bet Edward wouldn’t take that sitting down, and I’d love to see Blondie lose a limb.

But remember, the Quileute doing the exact same thing is a sign of their primitive emotions and animalistic connection!

quote:

“No, that’s not it. It’s just that it—” Bella sucked in a deep breath. “It smells good,” she admitted in a tiny voice.

No, I don't know how this vampire baby is affecting Bella to make her like blood. It's just how this poo poo works, I guess.

quote:

I swallowed hard, fighting to keep the disgust off my face.

“That’s a good thing,” Rosalie told Bella eagerly. “That means we’re on the right track. Give it a try.” Given Blondie’s new expression, I was surprised she didn’t break into a touchdown dance.

Someone draw this.

quote:

Bella shoved the straw between her lips, squeezed her eyes shut, and wrinkled her nose. I could hear the blood slopping around in the cup again as her hand shook. She sipped at it for a second, and then moaned quietly with her eyes still closed.

Edward and I stepped forward at the same time. He touched her face. I clenched my hands behind my back.

“Bella, love—”

“I’m okay,” she whispered. She opened her eyes and stared up at him. Her expression was… apologetic. Pleading. Scared. “It tastes good, too.”

Acid churned in my stomach, threatening to overflow. I ground my teeth together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjdZhknwl2E

All of this gets compressed into 3 minutes in the film. We're only 31% through the book.

quote:

“That’s good,” Blondie repeated, still jazzed. “A good sign.”

Edward just pressed his hand to her cheek, curling his fingers around the shape of her fragile bones.

Bella sighed and put her lips to the straw again. She took a real pull this time. The action wasn’t as weak as everything else about her. Like some instinct was taking over.

“How’s your stomach? Do you feel nauseated?” Carlisle asked.

Bella shook her head. “No, I don’t feel sick,” she whispered. “There’s a first, eh?”

Rosalie beamed. “Excellent.”

“I think it’s a bit early for that, Rose,” Carlisle murmured.

Bella gulped another mouthful of blood. Then she flashed a look at Edward. “Does this screw my total?” she whispered. “Or do we start counting after I’m a vampire?”

“No one is counting, Bella. In any case, no one died for this.” He smiled a lifeless smile. “Your record is still clean.”

They’d lost me.

Sounds pretty obvious to me.

quote:

“I’ll explain later,” Edward said, so low the words were just a breath.

“What?” Bella whispered.

“Just talking to myself,” he lied smoothly.

If he succeeded with this, if Bella lived, Edward wasn’t going to be able to get away with so much when her senses were as sharp as his. He’d have to work on the honesty thing.

Edward’s lips twitched, fighting a smile.

Edward plans on being a liar and manipulator all his life!

quote:

Bella chugged a few more ounces, staring past us toward the window. Probably pretending we weren’t here. Or maybe just me. No one else in this group would be disgusted by what she was doing. Just the opposite—they were probably having a tough time not ripping the cup away from her.

Remember how just a year ago, a single paper cut was enough to make Jasper attempt murder despite decades of attempting self-control? Now an entire cup of blood does nothing!

quote:

Edward rolled his eyes.

Jeez, how did anyone stand living with him? It was really too bad he couldn’t hear Bella’s thoughts. Then he’d annoy the crap out of her, too, and she’d get tired of him.

Edward chuckled once. Bella’s eyes flicked to him immediately, and she half-smiled at the humor in his face. I would guess that wasn’t something she’d seen in a while.

“Something funny?” she breathed.

"The thought of your sexual abuser thinking he's superior to anyone."

quote:

“Jacob,” he answered.

She looked over with another weary smile for me. “Jake’s a crack-up,” she agreed.

Great, now I was the court jester. “Bada bing,” I mumbled in weak rim-shot impression.

That's not what a rimshot sounds like!

quote:

She smiled again, and then took another swig from the cup. I flinched when the straw pulled at empty air, making a loud sucking sound.

“I did it,” she said, sounding pleased. Her voice was clearer—rough, but not a whisper for the first time today. “If I keep this down, Carlisle, will you take the needles out of me?”

“As soon as possible,” he promised. “Honestly, they aren’t doing that much good where they are.”

Rosalie patted Bella’s forehead, and they exchanged a hopeful glance.

And anyone could see it—the cup full of human blood had made an immediate difference. Her color was returning—there was a tiny hint of pink in her waxy cheeks. Already she didn’t seem to need Rosalie’s support so much anymore. Her breathing was easier, and I would swear her heartbeat was stronger, more even.

Everything accelerated.

That ghost of hope in Edward’s eyes had turned into the real thing.

“Would you like more?” Rosalie pressed.

Bella’s shoulders slumped.

Edward flashed a glare at Rosalie before he spoke to Bella. “You don’t have to drink more right away.”

“Yeah, I know. But… I want to,” she admitted glumly.

Rosalie pulled her thin, sharp fingers through Bella’s lank hair. “You don’t need to be embarrassed about that, Bella. Your body has cravings. We all understand that.” Her tone was soothing at first, but then she added harshly, “Anyone who doesn’t understand shouldn’t be here.”

I hope you're really excited for a Rosalie vs. Jacob rivalry that lasts as long as possible narratively!

quote:

Meant for me, obviously, but I wasn’t going to let Blondie get to me. I was glad Bella felt better. So what if the means grossed me out? It wasn’t like I’d said anything.

Carlisle took the cup from Bella’s hand. “I’ll be right back.”

Bella stared at me while he disappeared.

“Jake, you look awful,” she croaked.

“Look who’s talking.”

“Seriously—when’s the last time you slept?”

I thought about that for a second. “Huh. I’m not actually sure.”

“Aw, Jake. Now I’m messing with your health, too. Don’t be stupid.”

I gritted my teeth. She was allowed to kill herself for a monster, but I wasn’t allowed to miss a few nights’ sleep to watch her do it?

I had to check the Twilight Lexicon timeline because this didn't seem to make sense. It's actually only been one day since we picked up from Jacob's perspective. Despite the incredible length of the book, only 2 more days in-universe will pass before we return to Bella's POV!

quote:

“Get some rest, please,” she went on. “There’re a few beds upstairs—you’re welcome to any of them.”

The look on Rosalie’s face made it clear that I wasn’t welcome to one of them. It made me wonder what Sleepless Beauty needed a bed for anyway. Was she that possessive of her props?

“Thanks, Bells, but I’d rather sleep on the ground. Away from the stench, you know.”

She grimaced. “Right.”

The native has not yet embraced the white man's culture, and thus sleeps outside.

quote:

Carlisle was back then, and Bella reached out for the blood, absentminded, like she was thinking of something else. With the same distracted expression, she started sucking it down.

She really was looking better. She pulled herself forward, being careful of the tubes, and scooted into a sitting position. Rosalie hovered, her hands ready to catch Bella if she sagged. But Bella didn’t need her. Taking deep breaths in between swallows, Bella finished the second cup quickly.

“How do you feel now?” Carlisle asked.

“Not sick. Sort of hungry… only I’m not sure if I’m hungry or thirsty, you know?”

“Carlisle, just look at her,” Rosalie murmured, so smug she should have canary feathers on her lips. “This is obviously what her body wants. She should drink more.”

Meyer can't write any character who isn't perfect without making them utterly insane.

quote:

“She’s still human, Rosalie. She needs food, too. Let’s give her a little while to see how this affects her, and then maybe we can try some food again. Does anything sound particularly good to you, Bella?”

“Eggs,” she said immediately, and then she exchanged a look and a smile with Edward. His smile was brittle, but there was more life on his face than before.

I blinked then, and almost forgot how to open my eyes again.

“Jacob,” Edward murmured. “You really should sleep. As Bella said, you’re certainly welcome to the accommodations here, though you’d probably be more comfortable outside. Don’t worry about anything—I promise I’ll find you if there’s a need.”

“Sure, sure,” I mumbled. Now that it appeared Bella had a few more hours, I could escape. Go curl up under a tree somewhere.… Far enough away that the smell couldn’t reach me. The bloodsucker would wake me up if something went wrong. He owed me.

“I do,” Edward agreed.

I'm sure Edward has the cucking plan still in the back of his mind.

quote:

I nodded and then put my hand on Bella’s. Hers was icy cold.

“Feel better,” I said.

“Thanks, Jacob.” She turned her hand over and squeezed mine. I felt the thin band of her wedding ring riding loose on her skinny finger.

“Get her a blanket or something,” I muttered as I turned for the door.

Before I made it, two howls pierced the still morning air. There was no mistaking the urgency of the tone. No misunderstanding this time.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



I've brought up a few times how short the timeline of this book is. So far it's been about 1 year in-universe between where we are now and the start of New Moon. We started this series 11 months ago, and with the William Control detour it's been about 9 months of actual posting time. Twilight drags on so much with so few time skips that we're almost witnessing the events of the later three books in real time.

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL
Feb 21, 2006

Holy Moly! DARKSEID IS!


Having only read summaries and smaller snippets of this part, the potential this part has is frustrating. I like the idea of Bella recognizing and accepting she needs human blood for her and her little monster to survive, but we don’t get her perspective! And honestly I can empathize a little with Rosalie, trying to be there for someone when there isn’t a drat thing you can do to help them otherwise, even overcoming/coping with personal trauma to support the other person.

As much as I groaned in dismay when I learned Midnight Sun was getting published, a small part of me would be excited if in all this time Meyer worked to improve her writing and storytelling, maybe even accepting the horror aspects of what she’s written.

Dienes
Nov 4, 2009

dee
doot doot dee
doot doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot
doot doot dee
dee doot doot


College Slice

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL posted:

Having only read summaries and smaller snippets of this part, the potential this part has is frustrating. I like the idea of Bella recognizing and accepting she needs human blood for her and her little monster to survive, but we don’t get her perspective! And honestly I can empathize a little with Rosalie, trying to be there for someone when there isn’t a drat thing you can do to help them otherwise, even overcoming/coping with personal trauma to support the other person.

As much as I groaned in dismay when I learned Midnight Sun was getting published, a small part of me would be excited if in all this time Meyer worked to improve her writing and storytelling, maybe even accepting the horror aspects of what she’s written.

I'm real curious to see how different the published version is from the leaked version. I'd assume "not at all" but who knows.

Anias
Jun 3, 2010

It really is a lovely hat


Just enjoy imagining how amazing a self aware author’s take on MS would be. So much room for hilarious off screen Alice and co hijinx

hyperhazard
Dec 4, 2011

I am the one lascivious
With magic potion niveous

I'm still wondering how the hell this plot point got past the editors. Of course the fetus wants blood -- literally every fetus ever wants blood because that is how fetuses eat. If Bella is being sucked dry by monsterbaby, the answer isn't to drink some O negative. There's a reason blood transfusions aren't done with styrofoam cups and bendy straws.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

hyperhazard posted:

I'm still wondering how the hell this plot point got past the editors. Of course the fetus wants blood -- literally every fetus ever wants blood because that is how fetuses eat. If Bella is being sucked dry by monsterbaby, the answer isn't to drink some O negative. There's a reason blood transfusions aren't done with styrofoam cups and bendy straws.

No see this magic vampire baby is just human vampire centipeded to Bella's directive tract.

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL
Feb 21, 2006

Holy Moly! DARKSEID IS!


Eh, I can go with “vampire abomination wants blood,” what I dislike is everyone being given the idiot ball until Jacob stumbles into the answer. Carsile with the past century alone of new medical knowledge should have been able to parse the fetus needed certain proteins or whatever is in blood and given an IV accordingly. I could even roll with some magical vampire BS were the story told well. In old WoD Vampire you couldn’t eat because your digestive system no longer functioned, but could use the energy blood drinking gave you to do so in order to blend in, which could have consequences down the line.

But of course Meyer-pires “don’t change,” so it’s obvious what a plot-driven part this is, because you could argue Carsile isn’t capable of learning/retaining new knowledge. Until he is.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL posted:

But of course Meyer-pires “don’t change,” so it’s obvious what a plot-driven part this is, because you could argue Carsile isn’t capable of learning/retaining new knowledge. Until he is.

Strict application of that principle would turn this into Vampire Memento.

hyperhazard
Dec 4, 2011

I am the one lascivious
With magic potion niveous

Midjack posted:

No see this magic vampire baby is just human vampire centipeded to Bella's directive tract.

I couldn't help myself.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

hyperhazard posted:

I couldn't help myself.



Anias
Jun 3, 2010

It really is a lovely hat


Where is the bendy straw?

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



hyperhazard posted:

I couldn't help myself.



Dear Lord who art in Heaven.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



SUPERMAN'S GAL PAL
Feb 21, 2006

Holy Moly! DARKSEID IS!



Rathbone is Jasper’s actor, btw

PetraCore
Jul 20, 2017





You know if the fetus was draining Bella's blood (which seems to be the implication of her color coming back), I'm just baffled that Carlisle wouldn't recognize the symptoms of blood loss.

Anias
Jun 3, 2010

It really is a lovely hat


Clearly Bella has injured herself off-screen 19 times in the period of time since she got home and Carlisle and Jasper are at this point so immune to her falling down the stairs spurting blood that they just assumes she's -always- shy of blood, and that's why she's on fluids and they've laid in the supply of O+. They just hadn't thought to give it to her to drink with a bendy straw. That part needed jacob's childlike wisdom to highlight that bendy straws make everything better.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



quote:

“Dammit,” I snarled, and I threw myself through the door. I hurled my body off the porch, letting the fire rip me apart midair. There was a sharp tearing sound as my shorts shredded. Crap. Those were the only clothes I had. Didn’t matter now. I landed on paws and took off toward the west.

Jacob should have brought in the Animorphs to learn how to transform with clothes.

quote:

What is it? I shouted in my head.

Incoming, Seth answered. At least three.

Did they split up?

I’m running the line back to Seth at the speed of light, Leah promised. I could feel the air huffing through her lungs as she pushed herself to an incredible velocity. The forest whipped around her. So far, no other point of attack.

Seth, do not challenge them. Wait for me.

They’re slowing. Ugh—it’s so off not being able to hear them. I think…

What?

I think they’ve stopped.

Waiting for the rest of the pack?

Shh. Feel that?


I absorbed his impressions. The faint, soundless shimmer in the air.

Someone’s phasing?

Feels like it,
Seth agreed.

Leah flew into the small open space where Seth waited. She raked her claws into the dirt, spinning out like a race car.

Got your back, bro.

Has anyone seriously called their brother "bro" in moments of danger?

quote:

They’re coming, Seth said nervously. Slow. Walking.

Almost there, I told them. I tried to fly like Leah. It felt horrible being separated from Seth and Leah with potential danger closer to their end than mine. Wrong. I should be with them, between them and whatever was coming.

Look who’s getting all paternal, Leah thought wryly.

Head in the game, Leah.

Be kind, she's seeing the first vague sense of maturity in you.

quote:

Four, Seth decided. Kid had good ears. Three wolves, one man.

Coming to Pornhub in July!

quote:

I made the little clearing then, moving immediately to the point. Seth sighed with relief and then straightened up, already in place at my right shoulder. Leah fell in on my left with a little less enthusiasm.

So now I rank under Seth, she grumbled to herself.

First come, first served, Seth thought smugly. ’Sides, you were never an Alpha’s Third before. Still an upgrade.

Under my baby brother is not an upgrade.


Shh! I complained. I don’t care where you stand. Shut up and get ready.

These guys are doomed.

quote:

They came into view a few seconds later, walking, as Seth had thought. Jared in the front, human, hands up. Paul and Quil and Collin on four legs behind him. There was no aggression in their postures. They hung back behind Jared, ears up, alert but calm.

But… it was weird that Sam would send Collin rather than Embry. That wasn’t what I would do if I were sending a diplomacy party into enemy territory. I wouldn’t send a kid. I’d send the experienced fighter.



Don't worry if you've completely forgotten that Collin even existed. Collin Littlesea and Brady Fuller were the 13-year-olds who became the youngest shapeshifters in the tribe in Eclipse, but were sent to protect the reservation and thus never appeared in the battle with the newborns. He doesn't appear in the movies until Breaking Dawn - Part 1 and is so unimportant that he's not even named in the credits.

His actor, Brayden Jimmie, was a non-actor who was an unironic Twilight fan and auditioned so he could be in his favorite series. He filmed his parts over 4 days and seems to have never acted professionally again.



I'm also embarrassed to say that I forgot Jared! This big pile of football was played by Bronson Pelletier, of Canadian Metis descent (mixed white and Plains Cree). He's still acting on a limited basis, but earned a stain on his record and the floor of LAX when he was arrested for public intoxication in December 2012 (just a month after the final film's premiere) for drunkenly peeing on the terminal floor.

quote:

A diversion? Leah thought.

Were Sam, Embry, and Brady making a move alone? That didn’t seem likely.

Want me to check? I can run the line and be back in two minutes. Should I warn the Cullens? Seth wondered.

What if the point was to divide us? I asked. The Cullens know something’s up. They’re ready.

Sam wouldn’t be so stupid…, Leah whispered, fear jagged in her mind. She was imagining Sam attacking the Cullens with only the two others beside him.

No, he wouldn’t, I assured her, though I felt a little sick at the image in her head, too.

All the while, Jared and the three wolves stared at us, waiting. It was eerie not to hear what Quil and Paul and Collin were saying to one another. Their expressions were blank—unreadable.

Doing their best Bella impression.

quote:

Jared cleared his throat, and then he nodded to me. “White flag of truce, Jake. We’re here to talk.”

Think it’s true? Seth asked.

Makes sense, but…

Yeah, Leah agreed. But.

We didn’t relax.

Jared frowned. “It would be easier to talk if I could hear you, too.”

I stared him down. I wasn’t going to phase back until I felt better about this situation. Until it made sense. Why Collin? That was the part that had me most worried.

Faced with the choice of the "negotiate naked" power move or getting arrested for exposing himself to a minor.

quote:

“Okay. I guess I’ll just talk, then,” Jared said. “Jake, we want you to come back.”

Quil let out a soft whine behind him. Seconding the statement.

“You’ve torn our family apart. It’s not meant to be this way.”

I wasn’t exactly in disagreement with that, but it was hardly the point. There were a few unresolved differences of opinion between me and Sam at the moment.

“We know that you feel… strongly about the situation with the Cullens. We know that’s a problem. But this is an overreaction.”

This feels suspiciously like a family telling their son to stop trying to convert to Mormonism and return home.

quote:

Seth growled. Overreaction? And attacking our allies without warning isn’t?

Seth, you ever heard of a poker face? Cool it.

Sorry.


Jared’s eyes flickered to Seth and back to me. “Sam is willing to take this slowly, Jacob. He’s calmed down, talked to the other Elders. They’ve decided that immediate action is in no one’s best interest at this point.”

Translation: They’ve already lost the element of surprise, Leah thought.

And tranquilized Paul.

quote:

It was weird how distinct our joint thinking was. The pack was already Sam’s pack, was already “them” to us. Something outside and other. It was especially weird to have Leah thinking that way—to have her be a solid part of the “us.”

“Billy and Sue agree with you, Jacob, that we can wait for Bella… to be separated from the problem. Killing her is not something any of us feel comfortable with.”

All right, that's a relatively reasonable compromise. It still doesn't solve the problem of Rosalie inevitably needing to be dismembered to get rid of the baby if it turns out to be dangerous.

quote:

Though I’d just given Seth crap for it, I couldn’t hold back a small snarl of my own. So they didn’t quite feel comfortable with murder, huh?

Jared raised his hands again. “Easy, Jake. You know what I mean. The point is, we’re going to wait and reassess the situation. Decide later if there’s a problem with the… thing.”

Ha, Leah thought. What a load.

You don’t buy it?

I know what they’re thinking, Jake. What Sam’s thinking. They’re betting on Bella dying anyway. And then they figure you’ll be so mad…

That I’ll lead the attack myself.
My ears pressed against my skull. What Leah was guessing sounded pretty spot-on. And very possible, too. When… if that thing killed Bella, it was going to be easy to forget how I felt about Carlisle’s family right now. They would probably look like enemies—like no more than bloodsucking leeches—to me all over again.

I’ll remind you, Seth whispered.

I know you will, kid. Question is whether I’ll listen to you.

I don't know if either side is coming out of this looking clean. Objectively, with all the in-universe information that is known to these characters, terminating the child is the right thing to do. Jacob and the Cullens are being incredibly careless in not doing so. But attempting to manipulate Jacob's rage (and then forgetting that Leah was a member of the pack and thus has all of their prior plans in her head when she breaks off) only serves to ruin any chance at a fair negotiation.

This is a plot in which every single person has to be doing something dumb for it to move forward. Even the ones who are taking the most heroic actions to prevent the half-vampire child from destroying the town have to be painted as the villains to make their plan seem unreasonable, which means Sam has to start becoming manipulative and evil to do it.

quote:

“Jake?” Jared asked.

I huffed a sigh.

Leah, make a circuit—just to be sure. I’m going to have to talk to him, and I want to be positive there isn’t anything else going on while I’m phased.

Give me a break, Jacob. You can phase in front of me. Despite my best efforts, I’ve seen you naked before—doesn’t do much for me, so no worries.


I’m not trying to protect the innocence of your eyes, I’m trying to protect our backs. Get out of here.

Leah snorted once and then launched herself into the forest. I could hear her claws cutting into the soil, pushing her faster.

Nudity was an inconvenient but unavoidable part of pack life. We’d all thought nothing of it before Leah came along. Then it got awkward. Leah had average control when it came to her temper—it took her the usual length of time to stop exploding out of her clothes every time she got pissed. We’d all caught a glimpse. And it wasn’t like she wasn’t worth looking at; it was just that it was so not worth it when she caught you thinking about it later.

Dear lord. Yet another reason for Leah's time in the pack to be really loving lovely and all of her anger to be justifiable.

quote:

Jared and the others were staring at the place where she’d disappeared into the brush with wary expressions.

“Where’s she going?” Jared asked.

I ignored him, closing my eyes and pulling myself together again. It felt like the air was trembling around me, shaking out from me in small waves. I lifted myself up on my hind legs, catching the moment just right so that I was fully upright as I shimmered down into my human self.

“Oh,” Jared said. “Hey, Jake.”

“Hey, Jared.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBJU9ndpH1Q

quote:

“Thanks for talking to me.”

“Yeah.”

“We want you to come back, man.”

Quil whined again.

“I don’t know if it’s that easy, Jared.”

“Come home,” he said, leaning forward. Pleading. “We can sort this out. You don’t belong here. Let Seth and Leah come home, too.”

I laughed. “Right. Like I haven’t been begging them to do that from hour one.”

Seth snorted behind me.

Jared assessed that, his eyes cautious again. “So, what now, then?”

I thought that over for a minute while he waited.

“I don’t know. But I’m not sure things could just go back to normal anyway, Jared. I don’t know how it works—it doesn’t feel like I can just turn this Alpha thing off and on as the mood strikes. It feels sort of permanent.”

“You still belong with us.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Two Alphas can’t belong in the same place, Jared. Remember how close it got last night? The instinct is too competitive.”

As the natives are beholden to their instincts, of course.

quote:

“So are you all just going to hang out with the parasites for the rest of your lives?” he demanded. “You don’t have a home here. You’re already out of clothes,” he pointed out. “You gonna stay wolf all the time? You know Leah doesn’t like eating that way.”

“Leah can do whatever she wants when she gets hungry. She’s here by her own choice. I’m not telling anyone what to do.”

Jared sighed. “Sam is sorry about what he did to you.”

I nodded. “I’m not angry anymore.”

“But?”

“But I’m not coming back, not now. We’re going to wait and see how it plays out, too. And we’re going to watch out for the Cullens for as long as that seems necessary. Because, despite what you think, this isn’t just about Bella. We’re protecting those who should be protected. And that applies to the Cullens, too.” At least a fair number of them, anyway.

Remember that it's been literally one day since you were convinced that you were going to kill off every Cullen in existence, and you're still on the verge of doing it if Bella dies in childbirth.

quote:

Seth yelped softly in agreement.

Jared frowned. “I guess there’s nothing I can say to you, then.”

“Not now. We’ll see how things go.”

Jared turned to face Seth, concentrating on him now, separate from me. “Sue asked me to tell you—no, to beg you—to come home. She’s brokenhearted, Seth. All alone. I don’t know how you and Leah can do this to her. Abandon her this way, when your dad just barely died—”

Seth whimpered.

“Ease up, Jared,” I warned.

“Just letting him know how it is.”

Yes, now we get to watch Jared try to talk to every pack member in turn to convince them to leave Jacob when the chapter could have been done already.

quote:

I snorted. “Right.” Sue was tougher than anyone I knew. Tougher than my dad, tougher than me. Tough enough to play on her kids’ sympathies if that’s what it took to get them home. But it wasn’t fair to work Seth that way. “Sue’s known about this for how many hours now? And most of that time spent with Billy and Old Quil and Sam? Yeah, I’m sure she’s just perishing of loneliness. ’Course you’re free to go if you want, Seth. You know that.”

Seth sniffed.

Then, a second later, he cocked an ear to the north. Leah must be close. Jeez, she was fast. Two beats, and Leah skidded to a stop in the brush a few yards away. She trotted in, taking the point in front of Seth. She kept her nose in the air, very obviously not looking in my direction.

I appreciated that.

“Leah?” Jared asked.

She met his gaze, her muzzle pulling back a little over her teeth.

Jared didn’t seem surprised by her hostility. “Leah, you know you don’t want to be here.”

She snarled at him. I gave her a warning glance she didn’t see. Seth whined and nudged her with his shoulder.

“Sorry,” Jared said. “Guess I shouldn’t assume. But you don’t have any ties to the bloodsuckers.”

Leah very deliberately looked at her brother and then at me.

Then realized she just committed a crime by doing so.

quote:

“So you want to watch out for Seth, I get that,” Jared said. His eyes touched my face and then went back to hers. Probably wondering about that second look—just like I was. “But Jake’s not going to let anything happen to him, and he’s not afraid to be here.” Jared made a face. “Anyway, please, Leah. We want you back. Sam wants you back.”

Leah’s tail twitched.

“Sam told me to beg. He told me to literally get down on my knees if I have to. He wants you home, Lee-lee, where you belong.”

I saw Leah flinch when Jared used Sam’s old nickname for her. And then, when he added those last three words, her hackles rose and she was yowling a long stream of snarls through her teeth. I didn’t have to be in her head to hear the cussing-out she was giving him, and neither did he. You could almost hear the exact words she was using.

Using your pet name for your ex-girlfriend to convince her to come back to you might be the second worst way to do so. The worst is to have someone else awkwardly deliver it.

quote:

I waited till she was done. “I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Leah belongs wherever she wants to be.”

Leah growled, but, as she was glaring at Jared, I figured it was in agreement.

“Look, Jared, we’re still family, okay? We’ll get past the feud, but, until we do, you probably ought to stick to your land. Just so there aren’t misunderstandings. Nobody wants a family brawl, right? Sam doesn’t want that, either, does he?”

“Of course, not,” Jared snapped. “We’ll stick to our land. But where is your land, Jacob? Is it vampire land?”

Replace "vampire" with "white" and you have something written in the late 19th century.

quote:

“No, Jared. Homeless at the moment. But don’t worry—this isn’t going to last forever.” I had to take a breath. “There’s not that much time… left. Okay? Then the Cullens will probably go, and Seth and Leah will come home.”

Leah and Seth whined together, their noses turning my direction in synchronization.

“And what about you, Jake?”

“Back to the forest, I think. I can’t really stick around La Push. Two Alphas means too much tension. ’Sides, I was headed that way anyway. Before this mess.”

Jacob becomes a wandering vagabond werewolf.

quote:

“What if we need to talk?” Jared asked.

“Howl—but watch the line, ’kay? We’ll come to you. And Sam doesn’t need to send so many. We aren’t looking for a fight.”

Jared scowled, but nodded. He didn’t like me setting conditions for Sam. “See you around, Jake. Or not.” He waved halfheartedly.

“Wait, Jared. Is Embry okay?”

Surprise crossed his face. “Embry? Sure, he’s fine. Why?”

“Just wondering why Sam sent Collin.”

I watched his reaction, still suspicious that something was going on. I saw knowledge flash in his eyes, but it didn’t look like the kind I was expecting.

“That’s not really your business anymore, Jake.”

“Guess not. Just curious.”

I saw a twitch from the corner of my eye, but I didn’t acknowledge it, because I didn’t want to give Quil away. He was reacting to the subject.

Like a lot of reveals Meyer tries to hide, it's not all that groundbreaking or shocking. The following events will be kinda boring, actually.

quote:

“I’ll let Sam know about your… instructions. Goodbye, Jacob.”

I sighed. “Yeah. Bye, Jared. Hey, tell my dad that I’m okay, will you? And that I’m sorry, and that I love him.”

“I’ll pass that along.”

“Thanks.”

“C’mon, guys,” Jared said. He turned away from us, heading out of sight to phase because Leah was here. Paul and Collin were right on his heels, but Quil hesitated. He yelped softly, and I took a step toward him.

“Yeah, I miss you, too, bro.”

Quil jogged over to me, his head hanging down morosely. I patted his shoulder.

“It’ll be okay.”

He whined.

“Tell Embry I miss having you two on my flanks.”

"You're the only ones keeping Chris Hansen from showing up here."

quote:

He nodded and then pressed his nose to my forehead. Leah snorted. Quil looked up, but not at her. He looked back over his shoulder at where the others had gone.

“Yeah, go home,” I told him.

Quil yelped again and then took off after the others. I’d bet Jared wasn’t waiting super-patiently. As soon as he was gone, I pulled the warmth from the center of my body and let it surge through my limbs. In a flash of heat, I was on four legs again.

Thought you were going to make out with him, Leah snickered.

I ignored her.

Jacob's too old for him.

quote:

Was that okay? I asked them. It worried me, speaking for them that way, when I couldn’t hear exactly what they were thinking. I didn’t want to assume anything. I didn’t want to be like Jared that way. Did I say anything you didn’t want me to? Did I not say something I should have?

You did great, Jake! Seth encouraged.

You could have hit Jared, Leah thought. I wouldn’t have minded that.

I guess we know why Embry wasn’t allowed to come
, Seth thought.

I didn’t understand. Not allowed?

Jake, didya see Quil? He’s pretty torn up, right? I’d put ten to one that Embry’s even more upset. And Embry doesn’t have a Claire. There’s no way Quil can just pick up and walk away from La Push. Embry might. So Sam’s not going to take any chances on him getting convinced to jump ship. He doesn’t want our pack any bigger than it is now.

Child grooming so strong that it forces tribal loyalty!

quote:

Really? You think? I doubt Embry would mind shredding some Cullens.

But he’s your best friend, Jake. He and Quil would rather stand behind you than face you in a fight.

Well, I’m glad Sam kept him home, then. This pack is big enough
. I sighed. Okay, then. So we’re good, for now. Seth, you mind keeping an eye on things for a while? Leah and I both need to crash. This felt on the level, but who knows? Maybe it was a distraction.

I wasn’t always so paranoid, but I remembered the feel of Sam’s commitment. The total one-track focus on destroying the danger he saw. Would he take advantage of the fact that he could lie to us now?

Sam is a pragmatic hero that needs to be painted by the author as a villain to keep anyone from becoming too unsympathetic toward the baby.

quote:

No problem! Seth was only too eager to do whatever he could. You want me to explain to the Cullens? They’re probably still kinda tense.

I got it. I want to check things out anyway.

They caught the whir of images from my fried brain.

Seth whimpered in surprise. Ew.

Leah whipped her head back and forth like she was trying to shake the image out of her mind. That is easily the freakin’ grossest thing I’ve heard in my life. Yuck. If there was anything in my stomach, it would be coming back.

Weren't you guys literally dismembering teenagers a few months ago?

quote:

They are vampires, I guess, Seth allowed after a minute, compensating for Leah’s reaction. I mean, it makes sense. And if it helps Bella, it’s a good thing, right?

Both Leah and I stared at him.

What?

Mom dropped him a lot when he was a baby, Leah told me.

On his head, apparently.

He used to gnaw on the crib bars, too.

Lead paint?

Looks like it
, she thought.

Seth snorted. Funny. Why don’t you two shut up and sleep?

hyperhazard
Dec 4, 2011

I am the one lascivious
With magic potion niveous

chitoryu12 posted:

Nudity was an inconvenient but unavoidable part of pack life. We’d all thought nothing of it before Leah came along. Then it got awkward.

Yeah, as someone who did a bunch of sports in high school, I call bullshit on this. Sure, there's always that one person who doesn't care what they look like, and is fine walking around and chatting, but most everyone looks down at their clothes or turns so they're facing the lockers, or goes into a stall to change underwear. Teenagers are not known for being comfortable with their own bodies.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



hyperhazard posted:

Yeah, as someone who did a bunch of sports in high school, I call bullshit on this. Sure, there's always that one person who doesn't care what they look like, and is fine walking around and chatting, but most everyone looks down at their clothes or turns so they're facing the lockers, or goes into a stall to change underwear. Teenagers are not known for being comfortable with their own bodies.

But hyperhazard, these are the natives! They're hot and emotional and freely expose their bodies to the virgin eyes of our white daughters!

Seriously, so much of how the Quileute are handled is a colonialism allegory that would be obviously intentional if Meyer didn't seem so clueless.

chitoryu12 fucked around with this message at 00:14 on May 26, 2020

PetraCore
Jul 20, 2017





chitoryu12 posted:

But hyperhazard, these are the natives! They're hot and emotional and freely expose their bodies to the virgin eyes of our white daughters!

Seriously, so much of how the Quileute are handled is a colonialism allegory that it would be obviously intentional if Meyer didn't seem so clueless.
Starting to think that as a mormon she might not have had the best upbringing on Native American portrayal and rights.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 14: You Know Things are Bad When You Feel Guilty for Being Rude to Vampires

Please, stop, I beg of you.

quote:

When I got back to the house, there was no one waiting outside for my report. Still on alert?

Everything’s cool, I thought tiredly.

My eyes quickly caught a small change in the now-familiar scene. There was a stack of light-colored fabric on the bottom step of the porch. I loped over to investigate. Holding my breath, because the vampire smell stuck to the fabric like you wouldn’t believe, I nudged the stack with my nose.

Someone had laid out clothes. Huh. Edward must have caught my moment of irritation as I’d bolted out the door. Well. That was… nice. And weird.

The savage, having finally rejected his native tribe to accept the white man's civilization, is granted the gift of modern clothes.

quote:

I took the clothes gingerly between my teeth—ugh—and carried them back to the trees. Just in case this was some joke by the blond psychopath and I had a bunch of girls’ stuff here. Bet she’d love to see the look on my human face as I stood there naked, holding a sundress.

In the cover of the trees, I dropped the stinking pile and shifted back to human. I shook the clothes out, snapping them against a tree to beat some of the smell from them. They were definitely guy’s clothes—tan pants and a white button-down shirt. Neither of them long enough, but they looked like they’d fit around me. Must be Emmett’s. I rolled the cuffs up on the shirtsleeves, but there wasn’t much I could do about the pants. Oh well.

Even Emmett dresses like a Mormon!

quote:

I had to admit, I felt better with some clothes to my name, even stinky ones that didn’t quite fit. It was hard not being able to just jet back home and grab another pair of old sweatpants when I needed them. The homeless thing again—not having anyplace to go back to. No possessions, either, which wasn’t bothering me too bad now, but would probably get annoying soon.

Exhausted, I walked slowly up the Cullens’ porch steps in my fancy new secondhand clothes but hesitated when I got to the door. Did I knock? Stupid, when they knew I was here. I wondered why no one acknowledged that—told me either to come in or get lost. Whatever. I shrugged and let myself in.

More changes. The room had shifted back to normal—almost—in the last twenty minutes. The big flat-screen was on, low volume, showing some chick flick that no one seemed to be watching. Carlisle and Esme stood by the back windows, which were open to the river again. Alice, Jasper, and Emmett were out of sight, but I heard them murmuring upstairs. Bella was on the couch like yesterday, with just one tube still hooked into her, and an IV hanging behind the back of the sofa. She was wrapped up like a burrito in a couple of thick quilts, so at least they’d listened to me before. Rosalie was cross-legged on the ground by her head. Edward sat at the other end of the couch with Bella’s burrito’ed feet in his lap. He looked up when I came in and smiled at me—just a little twitch of his mouth—like something pleased him.

The Cullens rapidly change the entire house between scenes just to gently caress with Jacob now.

quote:

Bella didn’t hear me. She only glanced up when he did, and then she smiled, too. With real energy, her whole face lighting up. I couldn’t remember the last time she’d looked so excited to see me.

What was with her? For crying out loud, she was married! Happily married, too—there was no question that she was in love with her vampire past the boundaries of sanity. And hugely pregnant, to top it off.

So why did she have to be so drat thrilled to see me? Like I’d made her whole freakin’ day by walking through the door.

If she would just not care… Or more than that—really not want me around. It would be so much easier to stay away.

Yeah, why is she so happy to see him? He's awful!

quote:

Edward seemed to be in agreement with my thoughts—we were on the same wavelength so much lately it was crazy. He was frowning now, reading her face while she beamed at me.

“They just wanted to talk,” I mumbled, my voice dragging with exhaustion. “No attack on the horizon.”

“Yes,” Edward answered. “I heard most of it.”

That woke me up a little. We’d been a good three miles out. “How?”

“I’m hearing you more clearly—it’s a matter of familiarity and concentration. Also, your thoughts are slightly easier to pick up when you’re in your human form. So I caught most of what passed out there.”

“Oh.” It bugged me a little, but for no good reason, so I shrugged it off. “Good. I hate repeating myself.”

"Your thoughts are never safe around me, Jacob. Never."

quote:

“I’d tell you to go get some sleep,” Bella said, “but my guess is that you’re going to pass out on the floor in about six seconds, so there’s probably no point.”

It was amazing how much better she sounded, how much stronger she looked. I smelled fresh blood and saw that the cup was in her hands again. How much blood would it take to keep her going? At some point, would they start trotting in the neighbors?

Jacob, their entire thing is that they don't kill humans. How have you missed that this whole time?

quote:

I headed for the door, counting off the seconds for her as I walked. “One Mississippi… two Mississippi…”

“Where’s the flood, mutt?” Rosalie muttered.

“You know how you drown a blonde, Rosalie?” I asked without stopping or turning to look at her. “Glue a mirror to the bottom of a pool.”

I heard Edward chuckle as I pulled the door shut. His mood seemed to improve in exact correlation to Bella’s health.

“I’ve already heard that one,” Rosalie called after me.

"Also friendly reminder that I was raped and murdered by my fiancee"

quote:

I trudged down the steps, my only goal to drag myself far enough into the trees that the air would be pure again. I planned to ditch the clothes a convenient distance from the house for future use rather than tying them to my leg, so I wouldn’t be smelling them, either. As I fumbled with the buttons on the new shirt, I thought randomly about how buttons would never be in style for werewolves.

I heard the voices while I slogged across the lawn.

“Where are you going?” Bella asked.

“There was something I forgot to say to him.”

“Let Jacob sleep—it can wait.”

Yes, please, let Jacob sleep.

“It will only take a moment.”

Not with how this bitch writes.

quote:

I turned slowly. Edward was already out the door. He had an apology in his expression as he approached me.

“Jeez, what now?”

“I’m sorry,” he said, and then he hesitated, like he didn’t know how to phrase what he was thinking.

What’s on your mind, mind reader?

“When you were speaking to Sam’s delegates earlier,” he murmured, “I was giving a play-by-play for Carlisle and Esme and the rest. They were concerned—”

“Look, we’re not dropping our guard. You don’t have to believe Sam like we do. We’re keeping our eyes open regardless.”

“No, no, Jacob. Not about that. We trust your judgment. Rather, Esme was troubled by the hardships this is putting your pack through. She asked me to speak to you privately about it.”

That took me off guard. “Hardships?”

“The homeless part, particularly. She’s very upset that you are all so… bereft.”

Is he meant to sound like an out-of-touch rich boy being asked by his mother to feed and clothe the hobos living in the garden?

quote:

I snorted. Vampire mother hen—bizarre. “We’re tough. Tell her not to worry.”

“She’d still like to do what she can. I got the impression that Leah prefers not to eat in her wolf form?”

“And?” I demanded.

“Well, we do have normal human food here, Jacob. Keeping up appearances, and, of course, for Bella. Leah is welcome to anything she’d like. All of you are.”

“I’ll pass that along.”

“Leah hates us.”

“So?”

“So try to pass it along in such a way as to make her consider it, if you don’t mind.”

“I’ll do what I can.”

I like how Leah, who's otherwise a pretty reasonable person with reasonable issues, is being written as someone who's so blindly hateful toward the Cullens that she would starve rather than eat their food.

quote:

“And then there’s the matter of clothes.”

I glanced down at the ones I was wearing. “Oh yeah. Thanks.” It probably wouldn’t be good manners to mention how bad they reeked.

He smiled, just a little. “Well, we’re easily able to help out with any needs there. Alice rarely allows us to wear the same thing twice. We’ve got piles of brand-new clothes that are destined for Goodwill, and I’d imagine that Leah is fairly close to Esme’s size.…”

The vampires who are meant to avoid drawing attention to themselves use their real names for decades or centuries, always show up everywhere together, drive flashy sports cars in small towns, conspicuously order food that they throw away without eating every day, and wear different clothes every single day while donating barely used outfits to Goodwill?

quote:

“Not sure how she’ll feel about bloodsucker castoffs. She’s not as practical as I am.”

It's like Meyer knows that Leah would be seen as too sympathetic and needs to fill her with rage and make her seem unreasonable at odd times to keep anyone from liking her too much over Jacob. She needs to be the one who learns to behave.

quote:

“I trust that you can present the offer in the best possible light. As well as the offer for any other physical object you might need, or transportation, or anything else at all. And showers, too, since you prefer to sleep outdoors. Please… don’t consider yourselves without the benefits of a home.”

He said the last line softly—not trying to keep quiet this time, but with some kind of real emotion.

I stared at him for a second, blinking sleepily. “That’s, er, nice of you. Tell Esme we appreciate the, uh, thought. But the perimeter cuts through the river in a few places, so we stay pretty clean, thanks.”

You can't just bathe by running through a river and straight into the forest!

quote:

“If you would pass the offer on, regardless.”

“Sure, sure.”

“Thank you.”

I turned away from him, only to stop cold when I heard the low, pained cry from inside the house. By the time I looked back, he was already gone.

What now?

I followed after him, shuffling like a zombie. Using about the same number of brain cells, too. It didn’t feel like I had a choice. Something was wrong. I would go see what it was. There would be nothing I could do. And I would feel worse.

It seemed inevitable.

I let myself in again. Bella was panting, curled over the bulge in the center of her body. Rosalie held her while Edward, Carlisle, and Esme all hovered. A flicker of motion caught my eye; Alice was at the top of the stairs, staring down into the room with her hands pressed to her temples. It was weird—like she was barred from entering somehow.

It's yet another "The rules don't matter and can change at any time" reveal coming up.

quote:

“Give me a second, Carlisle,” Bella panted.

“Bella,” the doctor said anxiously, “I heard something crack. I need to take a look.”

“Pretty sure”—pant—“it was a rib. Ow. Yep. Right here.” She pointed to her left side, careful not to touch.

It was breaking her bones now.

“I need to take an X-ray. There might be splinters. We don’t want it to puncture anything.”

Bella took a deep breath. “Okay.”

Shouldn't, uh, this be an even bigger reason to abort this child before it's fully grown?

quote:

Rosalie lifted Bella carefully. Edward seemed like he was going to argue, but Rosalie bared her teeth at him and growled, “I’ve already got her.”

So Bella was stronger now, but the thing was, too. You couldn’t starve one without starving the other, and healing worked just the same. No way to win.

This is basically a horror movie and none of you are going to even do anything to stop it!

quote:

Blondie carried Bella swiftly up the big staircase with Carlisle and Edward right on her heels, none of them taking any notice of me standing dumbstruck in the doorway.

So they had a blood bank and an X-ray machine? Guess the doc brought his work home with him.

Carlisle and Esme running at 60 MPH through Forks in the middle of the night, holding hospital equipment over their heads like Adam West's Batman with the bomb.

quote:

I was too tired to follow them, too tired to move. I leaned back against the wall and then slid to the ground. The door was still open, and I pointed my nose toward it, grateful for the clean breeze blowing in. I leaned my head against the jamb and listened.

I could hear the sound of the X-ray machinery upstairs. Or maybe I just assumed that’s what it was. And then the lightest of footsteps coming down the stairs. I didn’t look to see which vampire it was.

“Do you want a pillow?” Alice asked me.

“No,” I mumbled. What was with the pushy hospitality? It was creeping me out.

What's with these stupid vampires trying to act like normal people and not bloodsucking leech monster parasites?

quote:

“That doesn’t look comfortable,” she observed.

“S’not.”

“Why don’t you move, then?”

“Tired. Why aren’t you upstairs with the rest of them?” I shot back.

“Headache,” she answered.

I rolled my head around to look at her.

Alice was a tiny little thing. ’Bout the size of one of my arms. She looked even smaller now, sort of hunched in on herself. Her small face was pinched.

“Vampires get headaches?”

“Not the normal ones.”

I snorted. Normal vampires.

Normal vampires wouldn't have to deal with this lovely plot.

quote:

“So how come you’re never with Bella anymore?” I asked, making the question an accusation. It hadn’t occurred to me before, because my head had been full of other crap, but it was weird that Alice was never around Bella, not since I’d been here. Maybe if Alice were by her side, Rosalie wouldn’t be. “Thought you two were like this.” I twisted two of my fingers together.

“Like I said”—she curled up on the tile a few feet from me, wrapping her skinny arms around her skinny knees—“headache.”

“Bella’s giving you a headache?”

“Yes.”

I frowned. Pretty sure I was too tired for riddles. I let my head roll back around toward the fresh air and closed my eyes.

Bella gives all of us a headache, Jacob.

quote:

“Not Bella, really,” she amended. “The… fetus.”

Ah, someone else who felt like I did. It was pretty easy to recognize. She said the word grudgingly, the way Edward did.

“I can’t see it,” she told me, though she might have been talking to herself. For all she knew, I was already gone. “I can’t see anything about it. Just like you.”

I flinched, and then my teeth ground together. I didn’t like being compared to the creature.

“Bella gets in the way. She’s all wrapped around it, so she’s… blurry. Like bad reception on a TV—like trying to focus your eyes on those fuzzy people jerking around on the screen. It’s killing my head to watch her. And I can’t see more than a few minutes ahead, anyway. The… fetus is too much a part of her future. When she first decided… when she knew she wanted it, she blurred right out of my sight. Scared me to death.”

Alice's powers work exclusively with the speed and accuracy the plot demands. The child is the exclusive winner of the "Alice can't see the future" power, but it affects Bella because...reasons. There's no reason why it has to work this way except that it conveniently kicks the clairvoyant out of the plot.

This is why you don't put people who can see the future into your story unless you're already a good writer. Amateur housewife writing off the top of your head with little or no planning? You get this.

quote:

She was quiet for a second, and then she added, “I have to admit, it’s a relief having you close by—in spite of the wet-dog smell. Everything goes away. Like having my eyes closed. It numbs the headache.”

“Happy to be of service, ma’am,” I mumbled.

“I wonder what it has in common with you… why you’re the same that way.”

Sudden heat flashed in the center of my bones. I clenched my fists to hold off the tremors.

“I have nothing in common with that life-sucker,” I said through my teeth.

Yes, that is Jacob about to transform and try to kill the person he's talking to for no good reason again.

quote:

“Well, there’s something there.”

I didn’t answer. The heat was already burning away. I was too dead tired to stay furious.

“You don’t mind if I sit here by you, do you?” she asked.

“Guess not. Stinks anyway.”

“Thanks,” she said. “This is the best thing for it, I guess, since I can’t take aspirin.”

“Could you keep it down? Sleeping, here.”

She didn’t respond, immediately lapsing into silence. I was out in seconds.

Grammarchist
Jan 28, 2013



It kinda seems like a fetus capable of breaking bones might be viable outside the womb, or at the very least that's an argument that somebody should be making. It seems like "caesarean" would have come up. Otherwise we're just going to see Bella get progressively, horrifyingly more pregnant while Rosalie snaps at anyone who comes close like a chain chomp.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007






Biscuit Hider

Grammarchist posted:

It kinda seems like a fetus capable of breaking bones might be viable outside the womb, or at the very least that's an argument that somebody should be making. It seems like "caesarean" would have come up. Otherwise we're just going to see Bella get progressively, horrifyingly more pregnant while Rosalie snaps at anyone who comes close like a chain chomp.

This story seems like it’s building towards a chestburster self-C-section birth scene and we’re suddenly plunged into an Alien fanfic but I know that can’t be what happens.

hyperhazard
Dec 4, 2011

I am the one lascivious
With magic potion niveous

Midjack posted:

This story seems like it’s building towards a chestburster self-C-section birth scene and we’re suddenly plunged into an Alien fanfic but I know that can’t be what happens.

Alien: chestburster scene
Meyer: hold my (non-alcoholic) beer

Anias
Jun 3, 2010

It really is a lovely hat


hyperhazard posted:

Alien: chestburster scene
Meyer: hold my (non-alcoholic) beer

It’s such a waste too, because well...

Bella’s choice to keep the kid is fine, if self harming, but everyone else around it is just flatly absurdist. There is such a rich tension here being entirely ignored in favor of flopping on couches and calling Bella dumb.

Yeah, having a monstrous home birth that might produce an actual monster out of a darker bit of folklore should absolutely have mom and dad and doctor having discussions about risk, it should have family figuring out how they are going to prevent unfortunate outcomes. Even more frustrating, it is clear the cullens have had some of that talk, but none of those gripping discussions happen in sight of the reader. Instead here we are watching Sam v Jacob or Edward flop, or Rosalie turn into a chain chomp and trying to decide who wins the readers choice award for most insane reaction.

Just imagine if Sam could pick up a phone. Then as alpha of the local pack he could pretty realistically demand to speak to Carlisle as head of the local Vampire family and then have a quick talk about how Carlisle plans to both keep Bella alive (Per the treaty) and also protect the people of la push (Per the treaty) from whatever supernatural half-vampire Bella is having. That seems a lot more reasonable than any of this.

But no, people are so freaked out by whatever superpowers this half vamp fetus has inherited from its terminally clumsy mother (hint, it’s clumsy too) that they can’t even step back long enough to really think about it.

Grammarchist
Jan 28, 2013



Sam: "I ain't drawing no straws. I'm for killing that thing right now."

Carlisle: "I can't lie to you about your chances, but... you have my sympathies."

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



In fact, Carlisle should realistically be the one pushing the hardest for termination! In the beginning of the book, he's the one who educated Bella on why immortal children are banned and generally have to be exterminated immediately. While he's compassionate (such as wanting to keep Bree alive against the Volturi's wishes and teach her the rules), he's also never been stupid. He's recognized danger and fought to kill in the past few months. With all of the dangers of an immortal child (especially their ability to incite violently protective instincts in vampires, which Rosalie is displaying all the symptoms of), it's incredibly reckless for him to just wait and see.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



quote:

I was dreaming that I was really thirsty. And there was a big glass of water in front of me—all cold, you could see the condensation running down the sides. I grabbed the cup and took a huge gulp, only to find out pretty quick that it wasn’t water—it was straight bleach. I choked it back out, spewing it everywhere, and a bunch of it blew out of my nose. It burned. My nose was on fire.…

The pain in my nose woke me up enough to remember where I’d fallen asleep. The smell was pretty fierce, considering that my nose wasn’t actually inside the house. Ugh. And it was noisy. Someone was laughing too loud. A familiar laugh, but one that didn’t go with the smell. Didn’t belong.

I groaned and opened my eyes. The skies were dull gray—it was daytime, but no clue as to when. Maybe close to sunset—it was pretty dark.

“About time,” Blondie mumbled from not too far away. “The chainsaw impersonation was getting a little tired.”

I rolled over and wrenched myself into a sitting position. In the process, I figured out where the smell was coming from. Someone had stuffed a wide feather pillow under my face. Probably trying to be nice, I’d guess. Unless it’d been Rosalie.

How did Meyer think "Blondie" wouldn't get tiring after a few chapters? It's like her idea for what cool kids talk like ended at PG-rated media in the 1970s.

quote:

Once my face was out of the stinking feathers, I caught other scents. Like bacon and cinnamon, all mixed up with the vampire smell.

I blinked, taking in the room.

Things hadn’t changed too much, except that now Bella was sitting up in the middle of the sofa, and the IV was gone. Blondie sat at her feet, her head resting against Bella’s knees. Still gave me chills to see how casually they touched her, though I guess that was pretty brain-dead, all things considered. Edward was on one side of her, holding her hand. Alice was on the floor, too, like Rosalie. Her face wasn’t pinched up now. And it was easy to see why—she’d found another painkiller.

“Hey, Jake’s coming around!” Seth crowed.

He was sitting on Bella’s other side, his arm slung carelessly over her shoulders, an overflowing plate of food on his lap.

What the hell?

Have they all just been staring at him this whole time?

quote:

“He came to find you,” Edward said while I got to my feet. “And Esme convinced him to stay for breakfast.”

Seth took in my expression, and he hurried to explain. “Yeah, Jake—I was just checking to see if you were okay ’cause you didn’t ever phase back. Leah got worried. I told her you probably just crashed human, but you know how she is. Anyway, they had all this food and, dang,”—he turned to Edward—“man, you can cook.”

“Thank you,” Edward murmured.

I inhaled slowly, trying to unclench my teeth. I couldn’t take my eyes off Seth’s arm.

“Bella got cold,” Edward said quietly.

Right. None of my business, anyway. She didn’t belong to me.

At least be happy Seth isn't doing it to a pre-pubescent girl.

quote:

Seth heard Edward’s comment, looked at my face, and suddenly he needed both hands to eat with. He took his arm off Bella and dug in. I walked over to stand a few feet from the couch, still trying to get my bearings.

“Leah running patrol?” I asked Seth. My voice was still thick with sleep.

“Yeah,” he said as he chewed. Seth had new clothes on, too. They fit him better than mine fit me. “She’s on it. No worries. She’ll howl if there’s anything. We traded off around midnight. I ran twelve hours.” He was proud of that, and it showed in his tone.

“Midnight? Wait a minute—what time is it now?”

“’Bout dawn.” He glanced toward the window, checking.

Breaking!

quote:

Well, drat. I’d slept through the rest of the day and the whole night—dropped the ball. “Crap. Sorry about that, Seth. Really. You shoulda kicked me awake.”

“Naw, man, you needed some serious sleep. You haven’t taken a break since when? Night before your last patrol for Sam? Like forty hours? Fifty? You’re not a machine, Jake. ’Sides, you didn’t miss anything at all.”

Nothing at all? I glanced quickly at Bella. Her color was back to the way I remembered it. Pale, but with the rose undertone. Her lips were pink again. Even her hair looked better—shinier. She saw me appraising and gave me a grin.

“How’s the rib?” I asked.

“Taped up nice and tight. I don’t even feel it.”

I rolled my eyes. I heard Edward grind his teeth together, and I figured her blow-it-off attitude bugged him as much as it bugged me.

It's honestly kind of insane!

quote:

“What’s for breakfast?” I asked, a little sarcastic. “O negative or AB positive?”

She stuck her tongue out at me. Totally herself again. “Omelets,” she said, but her eyes darted down, and I saw that her cup of blood was wedged between her leg and Edward’s.

“Go get some breakfast, Jake,” Seth said. “There’s a bunch in the kitchen. You’ve got to be empty.”

I examined the food in his lap. Looked like half a cheese omelet and the last fourth of a Frisbee-sized cinnamon roll. My stomach growled, but I ignored it.

“What’s Leah having for breakfast?” I asked Seth critically.

“Hey, I took food to her before I ate anything,” he defended himself. “She said she’d rather eat roadkill, but I bet she caves. These cinnamon rolls…” He seemed at a loss for words.

Yeah cause Leah's a stuck-up bitch who hates the Cullens for no reason, right?

quote:

“I’ll go hunt with her, then.”

Seth sighed as I turned to leave.

“A moment, Jacob?”

It was Carlisle asking, so when I turned around again, my face was probably less disrespectful than it would have been if anyone else had stopped me.

“Yeah?”

Carlisle approached me while Esme drifted off toward the other room. He stopped a few feet away, just a little bit farther away than the normal space between two humans having a conversation. I appreciated him giving me my space.

“Speaking of hunting,” he began in a somber tone. “That’s going to be an issue for my family. I understand that our previous truce is inoperative at the moment, so I wanted your advice. Will Sam be hunting for us outside of the perimeter you’ve created? We don’t want to take a chance with hurting any of your family—or losing any of ours. If you were in our shoes, how would you proceed?”

So is there any kind of magical significance to the treaty? Earlier in the series, the treaty was taken so seriously that Jacob was a fierce believer willing to kill every Cullen himself within days of joining the pack, and Paul attempted to kill Emmett just for accidentally drifting over the invisible line while on a mutual hunt for Victoria. We already know the Alpha can force any wolf to bend to his will, so it would make sense for the treaty to actually be enforced by something greater than them. But now Sam considers the treaty sufficiently flexible as to be reinterpreted or thrown out altogether at his will.

quote:

I leaned away, a little surprised, when he threw it back at me like that. What would I know about being in a bloodsucker’s expensive shoes? But, then again, I did know Sam.

“It’s a risk,” I said, trying to ignore the other eyes I felt on me and to talk only to him. “Sam’s calmed down some, but I’m pretty sure that in his head, the treaty is void. As long as he thinks the tribe, or any other human, is in real danger, he’s not going to ask questions first, if you know what I mean. But, with all that, his priority is going to be La Push. There really aren’t enough of them to keep a decent watch on the people while putting out hunting parties big enough to do much damage. I’d bet he’s keeping it close to home.”

Carlisle nodded thoughtfully.

“So I guess I’d say, go out together, just in case. And probably you should go in the day, ’cause we’d be expecting night. Traditional vampire stuff. You’re fast—go over the mountains and hunt far enough away that there’s no chance he’d send anyone that far from home.”

Also, we later get a first-person view of vampire senses and it's kind of unbelievable that the werewolves would be any kind of threat to them. There's no consistency with who's more dangerous to the other.

quote:

“And leave Bella behind, unprotected?”

I snorted. “What are we, chopped liver?”

Nobody has said that phrase seriously in your lifetime, Jacob.

quote:

Carlisle laughed, and then his face was serious again. “Jacob, you can’t fight against your brothers.”

My eyes tightened. “I’m not saying it wouldn’t be hard, but if they were really coming to kill her—I would be able to stop them.”

Carlisle shook his head, anxious. “No, I didn’t mean that you would be… incapable. But that it would be very wrong. I can’t have that on my conscience.”

“It wouldn’t be on yours, Doc. It would be on mine. And I can take it.”

“No, Jacob. We will make sure that our actions don’t make that a necessity.” He frowned thoughtfully “We’ll go three at a time,” he decided after a second. “That’s probably the best we can do.”

“I don’t know, Doc. Dividing down the middle isn’t the best strategy.”

I want you to take a guess how much all of this debate will matter in the long run. Go ahead.

quote:

“We’ve got some extra abilities that will even it up. If Edward is one of the three, he’ll be able to give us a few miles’ radius of safety.”

We both glanced at Edward. His expression had Carlisle backtracking quickly.



quote:

“I’m sure there are other ways, too,” Carlisle said. Clearly, there was no physical need strong enough to get Edward away from Bella now. “Alice, I would imagine you could see which routes would be a mistake?”

“The ones that disappear,” Alice said, nodding. “Easy.”

Edward, who had gone all tense with Carlisle’s first plan, loosened up. Bella was staring unhappily at Alice, that little crease between her eyes that she got when she was stressed out.

“Okay, then,” I said. “That’s settled. I’ll just be on my way. Seth, I’ll expect you back on at dusk, so get a nap in there somewhere, all right?”

“Sure, Jake. I’ll phase back soon as I’m done. Unless…” he hesitated, looking at Bella. “Do you need me?”

“She’s got blankets,” I snapped at him.

“I’m fine, Seth, thanks,” Bella said quickly.

No, Jacob will not stop being an rear end for the rest of his time as our POV character.

quote:

And then Esme flitted back in the room, a big covered dish in her hands. She stopped hesitantly just behind Carlisle’s elbow, her wide, dark gold eyes on my face. She held the dish out and took a shy step closer.

“Jacob,” she said quietly. Her voice wasn’t quite so piercing as the others’. “I know it’s… unappetizing to you, the idea of eating here, where it smells so unpleasant. But I would feel much better if you would take some food with you when you go. I know you can’t go home, and that’s because of us. Please—ease some of my remorse. Take something to eat.” She held the food out to me, her face all soft and pleading. I don’t know how she did it, because she didn’t look older than her mid-twenties, and she was bone pale, too, but something about her expression suddenly reminded me of my mom.

Jeez.

Meyer is trying to write Esme as the perfectly loving Mormon mother, but it just comes off as a horror movie.

quote:

“Uh, sure, sure,” I mumbled. “I guess. Maybe Leah’s still hungry or something.”

I reached out and took the food with one hand, holding it away, at arm’s length. I’d go dump it under a tree or something. I didn’t want her to feel bad.

Then I remembered Edward.

Don’t you say anything to her! Let her think I ate it.

I didn’t look at him to see if he was in agreement. He’d better be in agreement. Bloodsucker owed me.

What a prick.

quote:

“Thank you, Jacob,” Esme said, smiling at me. How did a stone face have dimples, for crying out loud?

“Um, thank you,” I said. My face felt hot—hotter than usual.

This was the problem with hanging out with vampires—you got used to them. They started messing up the way you saw the world. They started feeling like friends.

"This was the problem with hanging out with the white folk—you got used to them. They started messing up the way you saw the world. They started feeling like friends."

quote:

“Will you come back later, Jake?” Bella asked as I tried to make a run for it.

“Uh, I don’t know.”

She pressed her lips together, like she was trying not to smile. “Please? I might get cold.”

I inhaled deeply through my nose, and then realized, too late, that that was not a good idea. I winced. “Maybe.”

“Jacob?” Esme asked. I backed toward the door as she continued; she took a few steps after me. “I left a basket of clothes on the porch. They’re for Leah. They’re freshly washed—I tried to touch them as little as possible.” She frowned. “Do you mind taking them to her?”

“On it,” I muttered, and then I ducked out the door before anyone could guilt me into anything else.

Grammarchist
Jan 28, 2013



I love the image of there just being party cups of blood in the Cullen household right now.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Chapter 15: Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock

quote:

Hey, Jake, thought you said you wanted me at dusk. How come you didn’t have Leah wake me up before she crashed?

’Cause I didn’t need you. I’m still good.


He was already picking up the north half of the circle. Anything?

Nope. Nothing but nothing.

You did some scouting?


He’d caught the edge of one of my side trips. He headed up the new trail.

Yeah—I ran a few spokes. You know, just checking. If the Cullens are going to make a hunting trip…

Good call.


Seth looped back toward the main perimeter.

It was easier to run with him than it was to do the same with Leah. Though she was trying—trying hard—there was always an edge to her thoughts. She didn’t want to be here. She didn’t want to feel the softening toward the vampires that was going on in my head. She didn’t want to deal with Seth’s cozy friendship with them, a friendship that was only getting stronger.

Maybe she just realizes how lovely you are and is only on your side because being in Sam's pack is worse for her mental health?

quote:

Funny, though, I’d’ve thought her biggest issue would just be me. We’d always gotten on each other’s nerves when we were in Sam’s pack. But there was no antagonism toward me now at all, just the Cullens and Bella. I wondered why. Maybe it was simply gratitude that I wasn’t forcing her to leave. Maybe it was because I understood her hostility better now. Whichever, running with Leah wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected.

Of course, she hadn’t eased up that much. The food and clothes Esme had sent for her were all taking a trip downriver right now. Even after I’d eaten my share—not because it smelled nearly irresistible away from the vampire burn, but to set a good example of self-sacrificing tolerance for Leah—she’d refused. The small elk she’d taken down around noon had not totally satisfied her appetite. Did make her mood worse, though. Leah hated eating raw.

Ah, so the good native who rejects the white family the strongest has reverted to the most animalistic behavior to compensate?

quote:

Maybe we should run a sweep east? Seth suggested. Go deep, see if they’re out there waiting.

I was thinking about that
, I agreed. But let’s do it when we’re all awake. I don’t want to let down our guard. We should do it before the Cullens give it a try, though. Soon.

Right.


That got me thinking. If the Cullens were able to get out of the immediate area safely, they really ought to keep on going. They probably should have taken off the second we’d come to warn them. They had to be able to afford other digs. And they had friends up north, right? Take Bella and run. It seemed like an obvious answer to their problems.

Yes, great idea! Do the part that's most dangerous to bystanders in the wilderness!

quote:

I probably ought to suggest that, but I was afraid they would listen to me. And I didn’t want to have Bella disappear—to never know whether she’d made it or not.

No, that was stupid. I would tell them to go. It made no sense for them to stay, and it would be better—not less painful, but healthier—for me if Bella left.

Easy to say now, when Bella wasn’t right there, looking all thrilled to see me and also clinging to life by her fingernails at the same time…

Oh, I already asked Edward about that, Seth thought.

What?

I asked him why they hadn’t taken off yet. Gone up to Tanya’s place or something. Somewhere too far for Sam to come after them.


I had to remind myself that I’d just decided to give the Cullens that exact advice. That it was best. So I shouldn’t be mad at Seth for taking the chore out of my hands. Not mad at all.

So what did he say? Are they waiting for a window?

No. They’re not leaving.


And that shouldn’t sound like good news.

Why not? That’s just stupid.

Really stupid!

quote:

Not really, Seth said, defensive now. It takes some time to build up the kind of medical access that Carlisle has here. He’s got all the stuff he needs to take care of Bella, and the credentials to get more. That’s one of the reasons they want to make a hunting run. Carlisle thinks they’re going to need more blood for Bella soon. She’s using up all the O negative they stored for her. He doesn’t like depleting the stockpile. He’s going to buy some more. Did you know you can buy blood? If you’re a doctor.

How does that make any sense? I thought Carlisle going back to Oxford every decade was also renewing his credentials! Any legitimately licensed doctor shouldn't need to "build up credentials" in every small town he visits like this is the 1870s. Has he been operating illegally this entire time, only going to towns where he can slip in with no questions asked?

quote:

I wasn’t ready to be logical yet. Still seems stupid. They could bring most of it with them, right? And steal what they need wherever they go. Who cares about legal crap when you’re the undead?

Edward doesn’t want to take any risks moving her.

She’s better than she was.


Seriously, Seth agreed. In his head, he was comparing my memories of Bella hooked up to the tubes with the last time he’d seen her as he’d left the house. She’d smiled at him and waved. But she can’t move around much, you know. That thing is kicking the hell out of her.

"She's basically giving birth to a fully grown Pele."

quote:

I swallowed back the stomach acid in my throat. Yeah, I know.

Broke another of her ribs,
he told me somberly.

My stride faltered, and I staggered a step before I regained my rhythm.

Carlisle taped her up again. Just another crack, he said. Then Rosalie said something about how even normal human babies have been known to crack ribs. Edward looked like he was gonna rip her head off.

Too bad he didn’t.

Women can be more susceptible to rib fractures due to their expanding uterus putting pressure on their ribcage. That does not mean "The baby kicks hard enough to splinter your ribs."

quote:

Seth was in full report mode now—knowing it was all vitally interesting to me, though I’d never’ve asked to hear it. Bella’s been running a fever off and on today. Just low grade—sweats and then chills. Carlisle’s not sure what to make of it—she might just be sick. Her immune system can’t be in peak form right now.

Yeah, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

She’s in a good mood, though. She was chatting with Charlie, laughing and all—


Charlie! What?! What do you mean, she was talking to Charlie?!

Now Seth’s pace stuttered; my fury surprised him. Guess he calls every day to talk to her. Sometimes her mom calls, too. Bella sounds so much better now, so she was reassuring him that she was on the mend—

On the
mend? What the hell are they thinking?! Get Charlie’s hopes up just so that he can be destroyed even worse when she dies? I thought they were getting him ready for that! Trying to prepare him! Why would she set him up like this?

But...what's the alternative? They just tell him "Sorry, Bella has suddenly died, please never call again"?

quote:

She might not die, Seth thought quietly.

I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself. Seth. Even if she pulls through this, she’s not doing it human. She knows that, and so do the rest of them. If she doesn’t die, she’s going to have to do a pretty convincing impersonation of a corpse, kid. Either that, or disappear. I thought they were trying to make this easier on Charlie. Why…?

Think it’s Bella’s idea. No one said anything, but Edward’s face kinda went right along with what you’re thinking now.

On the same wavelength with the bloodsucker yet again.

How would Bella just abruptly dying be any easier on Charlie? They were having to pull a death cover story anyway. Why would they get better results by killing her off on the spot instead of letting her spend her final days with him and letting him grieve?

quote:

We ran in silence for a few minutes. I started off along a new line, probing south.

Don’t get too far.

Why?

Bella asked me to ask you to stop by.


My teeth locked together. Alice wants you, too. She says she’s tired of hanging out in the attic like the vampire bat in the belfry. Seth snorted a laugh. I was switching off with Edward before. Trying to keep Bella’s temperature stable. Cold to hot, as needed. I guess, if you don’t want to do it, I could go back—

No. I got it,
I snapped.

Okay. Seth didn’t make any more comments. He concentrated very hard on the empty forest.

He's so childish. What's his appeal supposed to be?

quote:

I kept my southern course, searching for anything new. I turned around when I got close to the first signs of habitation. Not near the town yet, but I didn’t want to get any wolf rumors going again. We’d been nice and invisible for a long while now.

I passed right through the perimeter on my way back, heading for the house. As much as I knew it was a stupid thing to do, I couldn’t stop myself. I must be some kind of masochist.

There’s nothing wrong with you, Jake. This isn’t the most normal situation.

Shut up, please, Seth.

Shutting
.

There's quite a lot wrong with him, actually!

quote:

I didn’t hesitate at the door this time; I just walked through like I owned the place. I figured that would piss Rosalie off, but it was a wasted effort. Neither Rosalie or Bella were anywhere in sight. I looked around wildly, hoping I’d missed them somewhere, my heart squeezing against my ribs in a weird, uncomfortable way.

Jacob strutting around in desperation at getting Rosalie to notice him.

quote:

“She’s all right,” Edward whispered. “Or, the same, I should say.”

Edward was on the couch with his face in his hands; he hadn’t looked up to speak. Esme was next to him, her arm wrapped tight around his shoulders.

Edward freezing himself into the most dramatic posture in preparation for Jacob's appearance.

quote:

“Hello, Jacob,” she said. “I’m so glad you came back.”

“Me, too,” Alice said with a deep sigh. She came prancing down the stairs, making a face. Like I was late for an appointment.

“Uh, hey,” I said. It felt weird to try to be polite. “Where’s Bella?”

“Bathroom,” Alice told me. “Mostly fluid diet, you know. Plus, the whole pregnancy thing does that to you, I hear.”

“Ah.” I stood there awkwardly, rocking back and forth on my heels.

“Oh, wonderful,” Rosalie grumbled. I whipped my head around and saw her coming from a hall half-hidden behind the stairway. She had Bella cradled gently in her arms, a harsh sneer on her face for me. “I knew I smelled something nasty.”

The scent of pedophilia.

quote:

And, just like before, Bella’s face lit up like a kid’s on Christmas morning. Like I’d brought her the greatest gift ever.

It was so unfair.

“Jacob,” she breathed. “You came.”

No no, that's after the pregnancy.

quote:

“Hi, Bells.”

Esme and Edward both got up. I watched how carefully Rosalie laid Bella out on the couch. I watched how, despite that, Bella turned white and held her breath—like she was set on not making any noise no matter how much it hurt.

Edward brushed his hand across her forehead and then along her neck. He tried to make it look as if he was just sweeping her hair back, but it looked like a doctor’s examination to me.

“Are you cold?” he murmured.

“I’m fine.”

“Bella, you know what Carlisle told you,” Rosalie said. “Don’t downplay anything. It doesn’t help us take care of either of you.”

"Unless your suggestion is that Jacob do anything to help you. I will murder him on the spot first."

quote:

“Okay, I’m a little cold. Edward, can you hand me that blanket?”

I rolled my eyes. “Isn’t that sort of the point of me being here?”

“You just walked in,” Bella said. “After running all day, I’d bet. Put your feet up for a minute. I’ll probably warm up again in no time.”

I ignored her, going to sit on the floor next to the sofa while she was still telling me what to do. At that point, though, I wasn’t sure how.… She looked pretty brittle, and I was afraid to move her, even to put my arms around her. So I just leaned carefully against her side, letting my arm rest along the length of hers, and held her hand. Then I put my other hand against her face. It was hard to tell if she felt colder than usual.

“Thanks, Jake,” she said, and I felt her shiver once.

“Yeah,” I said.

More useful than his normal "friendship."

quote:

Edward sat on the arm of the sofa by Bella’s feet, his eyes always on her face.

It was too much to hope, with all the super-hearing in the room, that no one would notice my stomach rumbling.

“Rosalie, why don’t you get Jacob something from the kitchen?” Alice said. She was invisible now, sitting quietly behind the back of the sofa.

Rosalie stared at the place Alice’s voice had come from in disbelief.

“Thanks, anyway, Alice, but I don’t think I’d want to eat something Blondie’s spit in. I’d bet my system wouldn’t take too kindly to venom.”

“Rosalie would never embarrass Esme by displaying such a lack of hospitality.”

There's that clairvoyance not working again.

quote:

“Of course not,” Blondie said in a sugar-sweet voice that I immediately distrusted. She got up and breezed out of the room.

Edward sighed.

“You’d tell me if she poisoned it, right?” I asked.

“Yes,” Edward promised.

And for some reason I believed him.

I don't.

quote:

There was a lot of banging in the kitchen, and—weirdly—the sound of metal protesting as it was abused. Edward sighed again, but smiled just a little, too. Then Rosalie was back before I could think much more about it. With a pleased smirk, she set a silver bowl on the floor next to me.

“Enjoy, mongrel.”

It had once probably been a big mixing bowl, but she’d bent the bowl back in on itself until it was shaped almost exactly like a dog dish. I had to be impressed with her quick craftsmanship. And her attention to detail. She’d scratched the word Fido into the side. Excellent handwriting.

Remember when Rosalie was a normal, decent person who had legitimate issues with the protagonist instead of a psychopathic bully?

quote:

Because the food looked pretty good—steak, no less, and a big baked potato with all the fixings—I told her, “Thanks, Blondie.”

She snorted.

“Hey, do you know what you call a blonde with a brain?” I asked, and then continued on the same breath, “a golden retriever.”

“I’ve heard that one, too,” she said, no longer smiling.

“I’ll keep trying,” I promised, and then I dug in.

How have you heard that? I've never heard that joke. That's such a dumb joke.

quote:

She made a disgusted face and rolled her eyes. Then she sat in one of the armchairs and started flicking through channels on the big TV so fast that there was no way she could really be surfing for something to watch.

The food was good, even with the vampire stink in the air. I was getting really used to that. Huh. Not something I’d been wanting to do, exactly…

When I was finished—though I was considering licking the bowl, just to give Rosalie something to complain about—I felt Bella’s cold fingers pulling softly through my hair. She patted it down against the back of my neck.

“Time for a haircut, huh?”

Mood.

quote:

“You’re getting a little shaggy,” she said. “Maybe—”

“Let me guess, someone around here used to cut hair in a salon in Paris?”

Emmett.

quote:

She chuckled. “Probably.”

“No thanks,” I said before she could really offer. “I’m good for a few more weeks.”

Which made me wonder how long she was good for. I tried to think of a polite way to ask.

“So… um… what’s the, er, date? You know, the due date for the little monster.”

She smacked the back of my head with about as much force as a drifting feather, but didn’t answer.

Hey, that's a perfectly normal term to use for a baby!

quote:

“I’m serious,” I told her. “I want to know how long I’m gonna have to be here.” How long you’re gonna be here, I added in my head. I turned to look at her then. Her eyes were thoughtful; the stress line was there between her brows again.

“I don’t know,” she murmured. “Not exactly. Obviously, we’re not going with the nine-month model here, and we can’t get an ultrasound, so Carlisle is guesstimating from how big I am. Normal people are supposed to be about forty centimeters here”—she ran her finger right down the middle of her bulging stomach—“when the baby is fully grown. One centimeter for every week. I was thirty this morning, and I’ve been gaining about two centimeters a day, sometimes more.…”

Two weeks to a day, the days flying by. Her life speeding by in fast-forward. How many days did that give her, if she was counting to forty? Four? It took me a minute to figure out how to swallow.

“You okay?” she asked.

I nodded, not really sure how my voice would come out.

Edward’s face was turned away from us as he listened to my thoughts, but I could see his reflection in the glass wall. He was the burning man again.

This woman really just uses "burning man" without a clue over and over.

Grammarchist
Jan 28, 2013



So I know they had to split up this book into two movies, but at this point I wouldn't be surprised if the baby isn't born until the second film. I can't imagine how painful this is to read straight from the page.

Something has to happen at some point, right? Like, Sam puts a bomb in the house and Carlisle spends every second of an hour-long timer figuring out which wire to cut while Edward faints from furniture to furniture and Rosalie welds an elaborate piece of metal art denigrating Jacob's heritage.

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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Grammarchist posted:

So I know they had to split up this book into two movies, but at this point I wouldn't be surprised if the baby isn't born until the second film. I can't imagine how painful this is to read straight from the page.

Something has to happen at some point, right? Like, Sam puts a bomb in the house and Carlisle spends every second of an hour-long timer figuring out which wire to cut while Edward faints from furniture to furniture and Rosalie welds an elaborate piece of metal art denigrating Jacob's heritage.

The birth is the very end of the first movie and the end of Jacob’s perspective. The second film is just the last third of the book.

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