Evening's Light

9. Missing

Only one day had passed before Jacob called the house, asking for me when Esme picked up the phone. Edward came within a few feet of my personal space and crossed his arms, to show he disapproved of me talking with him. He'd made it clear at Charlie's he didn't want Jacob to call until he healed, and then they would talk.

"He's still at Billy's. He just wants to check on Renesmee," I whispered ever so slightly to my scowling husband, while covering the mouthpiece with my hand.

Edward shook his head, pursed his lips and walked angrily away to the couch, where he grabbed up a book and pretended to read. That much I could tell because his eyes weren't moving along with the words. He just stared. Listening.

"She'll be fine, Jake," I got back to my conversation, "don't worry. You'll be healed before you know it and back home," I hoped to reassure him.

Rosalie didn't like when I referred to our home as Jacob's home. The thought of living with a wolf, this wolf, for an extremely lengthy existence…thoroughly irritated her. So, knowing who I was speaking with, she walked by and stuck her tongue out at the phone then jammed a perfectly manicured finger in her mouth to gag.

Picking on each other was what those two did best. But I shooed her away with a gesture of my hand regardless.

I didn't have the heart to tell Jacob the full truth—that Renesmee has been sitting on the floor in front of the big glass window, starring out into the forest, not wanting to move, or eat or talk since yesterday. That would drive him insane if he knew. And he'd break every rule to get to her if he thought he needed to.

Emmett did try to make her to laugh when he sat down and joined her at the window last night, making funny faces into it's reflection for her to see. But she merely looked at him out the corner of her eyes, and then back into the forest without a sound.

"Tough crowd," he'd said as he ruffled her hair, then stood up to leave her alone.

We all checked on her as much as we could, but made sure not to bother her. Edward knew where she was mentally and told us we needn't worry—that he was the only one she wanted to punish with her silence. With us, she was making a statement. I sat with her last night by the window, still in silence—her that was—and let her sleep in my arms when her eyes grew too tired to keep searching the trees. Once she' fallen asleep, Edward came over, sat down behind me and wrapped his arms around the both of us.

And we stayed like that all night.

Edward had also asked Billy and Sam to have all pack members stay away far from the house, for Nessie's sake. He didn't want her to run outside every time she thought she saw a giant wolf in the shadows. Renesmee was upset with her father when we left Charlie's, but it was then that she hadn't spoken a word or done a face touch since she heard that request.

"Call when you're healed, okay?" I reminded Jacob. "And I'm going to tell you the same thing tomorrow if you try calling again. Edward made it very clear; you'll talk when you're better." He needed to be patient or he was going to keep himself out longer than necessary. I laughed after Jacob spoke again. "No, his plan is not to fight you again when you're healed."

Then I looked over at Edward, and raised my eyebrows, questioning Jacob's thought. He rolled his eyes back at me and shook his head 'no'.

"I promise, Jake, you're fine. Just talking, alright?" After I hung up the phone, I went and sat next to Edward on the couch. "You sure got him nervous. You could have some fun with that, you know?" I chuckled lightly.

"Only if he makes me…" Edward attempted a smile, but showed no humor in his tone. No one dared to argue with him for what happened at Charlie's'—or that he asked Jacob to stay away for a few days. They all understood Edwards's temperament, and that the only thing that would cause him to react this way, would be one big, giant, copper wolf.

"Oh, and you can quit pretending to read, too," I said sarcastically. "You haven't even turned a page yet and your eyes aren't moving."

He closed the book shut with a thud then threw it on the coffee table in front of us. Several expression crossed his face while he sat motionless, staring at a blank TV.

"What's wrong?" I asked. "Do you think Jake didn't learn his 'lesson?"

"No, he did." Edward's voice was cold.

"Then, what's bothering you?"

"Nothing." I caught him take a quick glance in his daughter's direction then back to the TV.

I looked at her, then back at Edward.

"She's going to be fine. You know that. She just needs some time to understand all this."

Edward sighed heavily. "You don't have to hear the torment going on inside her head, though, Bella." He gnashed his distraught teeth together.

"No, but…she showed me once." I tried to comfort him, letting him know that I understood exactly how he was feeling. I'd seen her pain as much as he'd been listening to it. She was affecting both of us in her own way. Well, all of us really. This was the most quiet I had ever heard our house.

Edward inhaled a deep breath, closed his eyes then exhaled slowly.

"She's going to be fine," I repeated.

He nodded without looking at me, completely unconvinced by my words. Or, maybe he just wanted me to stop talking. It was hard to tell. So I kissed him on the cheek and removed myself from the couch.

"You don't have to leave, love." He grabbed my hand before I took a single step.

"I know." I smiled down at his sullen face. "I'll be back." My hand patted his that held mine and he let go a few seconds later.

"Alright." He forced out what sounded like an exhausted grin.

I could feel Edward's eyes on me as I walked over and bent down next to Renesmee, to see if she was hungry yet.

She wasn't.

Three more exasperating days had dragged—yes, for us vampires, they'd dragged—before Jacob called Edward's cell phone. It must have been exceptionally hard for the wolf in him to wait, but I was proud he'd made it. I know Edward knew how hard it was for him, too.

Renesmee had finally taken in some nutrition in a few days ago when Emmett and Jasper coaxed her into going on a hunt, by telling her she needed her strength built up for when Jake came home. She realized—just short of jumping off the ground at the idea, but catching herself—one couldn't argue with that kind of supreme logic and said she'd go, but didn't want to stay out long…incase Jake called.

Well, at least she was getting out.

Edward and I had gone hunting as well, staying far enough away, taking our own personal "side-bar" after draining two large elk. We hadn't visited our cottage since Charlie's, seeing that Renesmee didn't want to leave the main house, and we didn't want to leave her. And there hadn't been a fashion show in three days either. I think it was driving Alice a little mad. But she held her tongue in spite of it. Most of her frustration I think stemmed from the fact she couldn't see when the next one was coming. Rosalie would sit and comb Renesmee's hair by the window, while singing soft lullabies. And Jasper did us all a huge favor, keeping the mood around us as tranquil as possible.

For the last two nights, when Renesmee grew tired; she would take herself up to Carlisle's office and curl up on his lap. He would read aloud to her from whatever book she picked out for him, until her eyes closed. Then Carlisle would bring her down to Edward. It was the only time he was able to hold her—because she didn't know. This morning, when she began to stir from her slumber, he didn't hand her over to me, and I wasn't sure how she would react to waking in his arms. When her eyes opened, Edward looked down at her, his hand stroking along the top of her head. She didn't fight to free herself, but she didn't smile either. Instead, she'd turned herself into him and rested her head in the crease of his elbow. Then willfully, a few seconds later, she wrapped her arms around his waist and closed her eyes again.

Edward sighed in relief.

"Forgiven?" I whispered.

"Yes." He'd nodded.

I put my arm around him, kissed his cheek and smiled. "Good."

Edward and Jacob had planned to meet this afternoon, out in the forest just past our cottage, where there was a perfect little clearing. Edward said he would bring Nessie along, and they would see him later. He'd also asked me to stay home while he went to meet Jacob. It was important Renesmee see how well controlled her father could be without having to have me there.

I'd understood and just asked he hurry, with no funny stuff.

Esme and Alice were preparing to head into town to do some shopping for a house they were restoring. It was an old Victorian two-story home, nestled up on a hill, overlooking the ocean. Esme had found a beautifully rare fabric online she wanted to make the living room curtains out of, and it had just arrived.

Before Edward and Renesmee left, I'd decided I would sit and watch a movie while I waited for them all to return—hopefully. So, I put in Romeo and Juliet and gave them each a kiss goodbye before they headed out the door to meet up with Jacob.

Carlisle headed upstairs to his study to do some work on the computer, while Rosalie made her way out to the garage wearing her mechanics clothes. And Emmett and Jasper sat down to a game of chess after Esme and Alice had left.

My movie was just ending when Edward and Jacob came walking through the front door of the house. Renesmee, who was just a step ahead, ran over to me on the couch and hugged me.

"Mommy, daddy was very nice to Jake, they talked and worked everything out. They even shook hands at the end. It's all going to be okay now." Her face beamed with excitement.

"That's wonderful, sweetheart," I said as I gave her a little squeeze and a warm smile.

Secretly, I was relieved they were back. Edward had only been gone for a few hours, but it felt like two days to me. I still yearned for his presence every moment of every day.

"Jake and I are going to go outside and play," Renesmee said, then looked at Edward. "Is that okay, daddy?"

"Yes," he told her. "Just stay close."

She jumped out of my arms and ran over to Jacob, grabbing his hand and leading him outside with her. Jacob and I flashed each other a smile before he was out the door.

Edward sat down next to me.

"How was your movie?" he asked, knowing I'd seen it at least fifty times.

"They still die in the end," I said sadly.

He brushed his hand across my cheek, and I melted into it.

"Luckily, our story doesn't end like that." He smiled and kissed me gently, without stopping.

"It better not," I ordered in between kisses.

I didn't ask how their talk went. I already knew their differences and what each was probably going to say today. So I would let their conversation stay between them.

A moment later, we heard Carlisle's cell phone ring, and then jumped to our feet when he hollered, "WHAT?"

Edward froze, listening.

"What is it?" I asked while he was over hearing Carlisle's thoughts.

He looked around the room as if cautiously searching for someone. But before he could say anything to me, the rest of the Cullen's were there.

"What's going on, Edward?" Emmett asked.

But Edward didn't say anything, he just eyed Jasper fretfully. He looked as if he had bad news to share, and that made Jasper tense up, not liking the look in Edward's eyes. He was an open book of expressions when he was reading other people's thoughts.

"Edward?" Rosalie then asked. "What's wrong?" She could tell something wasn't right, too.

Edward had gone from concern to sorrow, and she looked like she wanted to cry from all the thoughts that were probably going through her head. I knew, because I was feeling the same way.

"Alice," he whispered, then shook his head slowly in confusion.

"What about Alice?" Jasper glared at him sternly. It was obvious if Edward didn't tell him soon, he was going to tear him to shreds.

"She's gone…missing? I don't know. Esme can't find her. She's panicking." he played back to us what he heard from Carlisle's conversation.

"Let's go then!" Emmett shouted, ready to head for the door to the garage and our vehicles.

Just then Carlisle came running downstairs to see us all standing around.

"Did you tell them?" he asked Edward.

"Yes, they know."

Carlisle grabbed his car keys. "Alright, let's head into town and see if we can help find her."

Rosalie and Emmett jumped in her BMW M3, Carlisle and Jasper road together in Carlisle's Mercedes, and as soon as we got Jacob and Renesmee, we hopped in Edwards Volvo and took off at a fast 120 miles per hour.

The rain had started to come down pretty hard by the time we arrived at the front of the fabric shop where Esme would be waiting for us, just in case Alice came back.

Edward, Jacob and I froze as soon as we got out of the car.

"Edward!" I shouted.

"I smell it, too," he kept his voice down.

Jacob started sniffing the air immediately. "It's all over the place." He looked confused, turning in a tight circle. "There's no one place to begin at."

The rest pulled up just beside us, Esme waiting under the cover for us. We all ran to her to gather more information.

She took us through their previous steps, and spoke very fast. "We were doing some shopping. Then Alice came here to pick up the material that had come in, while I headed down to the florist. She hadn't come down to where I was, so I headed back here. But she wasn't anywhere in sight when I arrived. I asked the clerk if she had left, and if he saw which direction she had gone, since I wasn't picking up her scent around town. He remembered her walking to the back of the store, but not coming back. I went to check for her scent, found it, but it stopped at the back door. Then a strange odor hit me. A strong one I had not smelled before."

Edward and I looked at each other, knowing it had to be the same one we smelled out at Charlie's last week, and the same one the three of us recognized when we stepped out of the car.

"I walked around, trying to pick up her scent, but the other one was to powerful, it drowned hers completely out," Esme panicked.

"Is it the scent the one we smell right now, Esme?" Jasper asked.

"Yes. It's everywhere. I can't get a clear path of where it came from, or where it went."

"Let's check it out," Carlisle said.

I picked up Renesmee and we all headed around to the back of the store to see if we could find something more concrete to follow. Jacob didn't phase, he didn't want to scare any humans that might be around. But thankfully his sniffer worked just as well in human form.

The rain wasn't helping with the scent, but it wasn't hard enough to stop us either as it drenched us. Edward paused to concentrate, to see if he could hear Alice. But he wasn't getting anything.

"Carlisle," he said. "She must be out of range. I can't hear anything from her."

"Jacob!" Jasper yelled. "Go into the woods, talk to the pack, and see if they've seen or heard anything on the reservation."

Jacob nodded, then took off into the nearby trees, hoping to talk to Leah and Sam. They would be in wolf form if anything unusual had gone out their way.

"Emmett," Rosalie said. "Who would take Alice?"

"I don't think it's a "who" Rose? It smells more like a "what"." He sniffed at the air and wrinkled his nose.

"Carlisle," Edward jumped in. "This is the same scent back here that we smelled out at Charlie's house."

"Hmm," Carlisle was thinking. "Do you remember if you saw any tracks when you were out following the scent at Charlie's?"

"No, I don't think there were any tracks now that you mention it." Edward retraced his memory.

"How does an animal leave a scent, but no tracks?" Esme pondered out loud.

"One that flies I would guess," Rosalie thought, trying to help with ideas.

"You mean to tell me there's a possibility that a big bird came in and swept Alice up?" Emmett half laughed at her.

"No you big dope!" She punched him in the arm, giving him a dirty look. "I'm just guessing an answer to Esme's question."

"Kids, please!" Carlisle scowled. With all of us thinking and talking out loud with our ideas and questions, he was becoming frustrated.

Just then Jacob came running full speed at us from the woods. He'd phased back, just at the edge, still not wanting to be noticed and dressed. Edward was so busy focusing for Alice that he forgot to listen to Jacob and the pack.

"They picked up an unfamiliar scent at the back edge of the reservation." Jacob informed us. "Come on, let's go. Sam and Leah are waiting."

We all hopped back in our cars and drove as fast as we could to the back edge of the reservation, where Leah, Sam and both packs met up with us. They appeared in human form while the others stayed phased. We all caught the familiar scent immediately when we stepped out of our vehicles, and Jasper was in a hurry to follow it.

"Wait!" Sam motioned a hand to Jasper. "We've already followed it to the ocean where the scent disappears. There's only this main trail, but it gets scattered a little back up a ways." He pointed behind him, up the road, opposite of how we had come in.

"Scattered?" Carlisle questioned.

"Yes, almost like it ran to this point from two separate directions, but it's all over the place a few paces up. We were getting ready to follow it more when Jacob called."

"Alright," Carlisle motioned to everyone, "let's see where this other trail takes us."

"Take the wolves with you," Sam said. "Leah and I will stay here incase anything comes back this way. I will phase so you can contact us with any further information."

"Very good, Sam, thank you." Carlisle shook his hand. And we took off following the scent that headed around the inner edge of the reservation and back up along the highway.

We had just passed the area that Sam had reached, when Rosalie hollered, "STOP!"

"What is it Rose?" Emmett asked.

"Over there." She pointed into the woods. "I see something."

Jasper and Emmett ran over to a clump of something that was lying about forty feet away on the ground. And we saw Jasper fall to his knees when he realized what it was.

Edward was going to go Jasper, anger and sadness in his eyes, and asked me to stay back with Nessie.

I did as he asked, terror running through me as I thought of all the things it could be. Was it Alice? Was it a part of Alice? It didn't seem big enough to be a person. I had no idea and didn't want to think about it anymore, so I focused on Renesmee.

"Are you okay, sweetie?" I asked her as calm as I possibly could. If I was worried, how must she be feeling? She hadn't said anything since we arrived at the shop.

"I'm scared, mommy, but I'm more scared for Alice. I want her home." Her eyes wanted to well up with tears, but I could tell she was trying to be strong and hold them back.

I took her off Jacob's back and held her tightly in my arms.

"We're all here looking for her, sweetheart. We'll find her. It's going to be okay." I brushed her hair gently away from her face.

I didn't believe it myself though, and it wasn't something I could promise. But what else could I say to her at this moment?

Jasper was carrying back the item Rosalie had seen, and Edward had a comforting arm around him. Jaspers face was so sad, I honestly didn't want to know what it was.

I turned around and buried my face in Renesmee's hair so I wouldn't be tempted to look.

"Oh no," I heard Esme say as they got closer. "She's been through here."

She's been through here? So that wasn't a piece of her they were carrying back?

Edward put a gentle hand on my shoulder. He could see the horror and sadness in my eyes when I turned around to look at him. He put Renesmee back on Jacob's back, letting her know he had to talk to me for just one second. Then said very quietly to me, so she wouldn't worry, "It was the piece of material Alice picked up at the shop today. It has claw like tares in it, as if there may have been some kind of struggle before she dropped it."

"A struggle?" I asked, swallowing the lump in my throat. "Claws?"

"Yes. There's a whole clutter of tracks scrambled around out there, too. It looks like it could be an animal of some kind. We did see some paw prints mixed in with Alice's maybe? They weren't like any animal we've ever seen before though."

I looked deep into his eyes with much concern, "And Jasper?"

"He's a mess, Bella. We need to be careful what we say for his sake, okay?" Then he hugged me, and then I felt guilty. Jasper didn't have Alice to hold and hug right now.

"Edward, this probably isn't a good idea."

"What isn't?" He looked puzzled.

"To stand here and hold each other like this." I glanced quickly at Jasper, then back to him.

"You're right." He rubbed my back quickly then headed over to Carlisle. "We should keep following this one up." Edward pointed at the trail that ran up along the highway. "Let's see if one of the splits takes us back to the shop?" He suggested.

Carlisle nodded, and we all agreed to keep going up along the highway.

Jasper kept the fabric held tight in his hand. It was the closest thing he had to Alice, and I could tell he wouldn't be setting it down anytime soon. Neither would I if it were me.

After turning a few more bends along the road, and a few more moments of running, we saw something.

There it was, just sitting there, with no life to it at all. The tire skids that flowed out from behind it must have gone on for a good twenty feet. And the driver's side door had been left wide open.

As we got closer I picked up speed, hoping to get there first. I recognized that vehicle.

It was Charlie's.

When I reached the opened door, I gasped at what I saw inside. "No!" my terror screamed out from deep down inside me.

There was blood all over the seat, a bloody handprint that hit and slid on the inside of the door and a small trail that lead out of the vehicle onto the ground. And my father's cruiser reeked of the animal that had taken off with Alice.

Charlie had obviously put up a fight.

I tightened my lips and my nose flared as fire welled up and burned through me.

Edward stopped short, backing everyone off when I turned and he saw my eyes.

Fury, not dread, was overflowing inside, and a low growl began to fester itself in my lungs. I clinched my teeth as everything around me turned dark black in color and cold. My breathing became heavy, rough and out of control. I began to shiver, not from the cold, but because my anger was becoming too much for me to handle.

With a vicious roar I reached in, grabbed the bulky steering wheel, yanked it fiercely out of the cruiser, then violently threw it up over my head. And as I turned to do my damage, everyone backed up even further.

I faintly heard Edward yell to Jacob to get Nessie out of here.

And with the thought of something taking off with my father bleeding, and or dead, I swung fiercely at the side window closest to me and made contact. Glass shattered everywhere in the cruiser and all over the road before the vehicle rose upon its side, wanting to tip over, but came back down with a heavy bounce.

I flung the steering wheel up in the air again as I made my way around to the back window, and with a growl and loud scream I know echoed for many, many yards; I smashed it in, too, sending more glass flying everywhere.

Additional skid marks, smoke and tire screeches were created when the vehicle moved resistantly forward.

I dimly heard Esme ask Edward to stop me, but I didn't care. I wasn't done yet. There were still two more windows that needed my rage taken out on them. And I didn't hear anyone take a step towards me as I smashed in the other side window.

Then, just as I raised the steering wheel over my head to take another swing; I was tackled roughly to the ground.

The arms that held me were constrictive and hard, and the steering wheel was yanked from my hands. I fought back against my tackler with hisses, growls and kicks.

After a few minutes of that, I was rolled over onto my back, my arms pinned above my head and to the ground. Someone else grabbed my legs and held them down.

I saw red and felt frustrated fury when I yelled, "Get off of me!"

"No!" Edward shouted back. "Not until you calm down. You're not helping anyone by smashing things up."

I looked down to see who was holding my legs. "Emmett, you let go of me right now, or I'm going to fling you into this forest behind me so fast! Do you understand?"

"Uh-uh, Bella, no way." He shook his head at me, then laid down on my legs.

I struggled some more against Edwards hands holding me and the knees that were braced tightly against my waist. When my tries to get free from him weren't working, I pulled all my strength into my legs and flung Emmett up into Edward, knocking both of them off of me.

As I got up off the ground in half a second, crouching, ready for a fight with them; I was plowed down again from behind.

My arms were held tightly behind my back and all of my hair was being held in someone's hand, keeping my head forced to the dirt and rock ground. I could feel two people come and hold both my legs again. Most likely it was Emmett and Edward.

Then the snarling voice spoke right next to my ear.

"You listen to me, Bella! Alice and Charlie would not want to see you doing this. I know you're hurting, but we have to get back on track and find our loved ones. Is that clear?"

Then there was a slight silence as she got even closer to my ear. "And if you ever kick at Emmett like that again, I'll take you out myself, no questions asked."

I inhaled a deep breath and paused, letting the words sink in. I realized now where I was, and what was fully going on. Trying to gain control, my breathing began to slow, and I could smell the damp dirt that was right under my nose, and sticking it.

I took a few minutes to compose myself, to show I wasn't going to put up any more of a fight before I said humbly, "I'm sorry, Rosalie."

"That's better," she said firmly. "Now, are you going to behave, or do I have to have Jasper come and sit on you, too?"

"No, no one else needs to do that. I'll behave. I promise." And I did promise; I was doing somewhat better.

Then I remembered what had gotten me so angry in the first place. Charlie. The blood, his struggle, missing, gone...and Alice, gone...

A huge tidal wave of grief overwhelmed me and I was suddenly crying. There were no tears, but I was crying.

Rosalie let go of my hair, freed my hands and got off of my back. I felt one person let go of one leg while the other one stayed, still holding on to me.

I pulled up my hands up and buried my face in them, still in dry tears. I couldn't move.

The hand from my leg, slid up to the middle of my back, and moved around in small slow circular motions. This was Edward's touch.

My crying slowed some when he leaned over and whispered, "Bella…we'll find him. We're all going to do this together. We'll find Alice and Charlie…if it kills me."

I turned my face slightly out of my hands and said with pain in my voice at the thought, "If it kills you Edward…then it kills me."

He kissed me softly on the cheek that was showing.

I rolled over on my back to get a look at his face and sighed. "I'm sorry I kicked Emmett into you." I felt bad, knowing I would be apologizing to Emmett later.

"Don't be too sorry, love, that was a good move. Actually, it was kind of sexy," he said as he laughed through his nose, staring at me, appearing slightly aroused and leaning over me.

I rolled my eyes. "Edward, not now."

"Alright," he sounded childishly disappointed. "Let's get you up then."

As he pulled me up from the ground, my back facing my father's cruiser, I shook all the dirt off me, and then looked around to see who was watching. Everyone was standing down the road with their backs to me. Jacob had just come out of the forest in human form with Renesmee, heading for Carlisle.

"They all know how you hate an audience, even though it didn't seem to bother you when you were smashing all of Charlie's windows out," Edward snickered a little again.

I couldn't believe he was finding a bit of humor right now in all of this.

"Yeah, I was a pretty mad," I said rudely while giving him questioned a look at his behavior.

Edward raised an eyebrow at me. "Can I tell you how—"

I put my hand over his mouth to stop his words, and said, "If you tell me how sexy that was too, I will have no problem flinging you again." I was still upset and in no reasonable mood to try to be diverted from it.

He smiled and pretended like he was locking his mouth with a key, then threw it away.

"You're starting to sound like Emmett you know," I said disgusted, and bothered. My father and Alice were still missing, what was wrong with him?

He put his hands on my waist, pulling me close to the front of him and whispered, "I can't help what you do to me, Bella." His lips slowly softened into mine.

If he was trying to distract me from my wide array of emotions...it was working.

His sweet breath swirled around in my mouth as he pulled me in even tighter, succeeding in detaching my mind from the world once again. And I about fell over backwards when we were interrupted.

"Bella, Edward, come on…" Carlisle yelled. "There's a car a coming about a mile away. We have to get out of here!"

Edward took my hand, and we grabbed Renesmee when got back to the group. We didn't have time for consoling right now, we had to move.

We ran a few more miles up the highway, and then back into the woods, following the scent that did take us in a circle right back to Sam and Leah, just like they thought it might, but not one to the shop.

"Sam, you say this trail leads into the ocean?" Jasper asked.

"Yes, right up to the waves…then disappears." He pointed in the direction he was speaking of.

Carlisle wondered out loud. "So, what kind of animal has paws that make no tracks sometimes, and then heads off into the ocean?" he handed the riddle out to us. But nobody had an answer, because it didn't make any sense.

"Carlisle," Jasper summoned. "Do you mind if we go to the ocean still and check it out? Just incase there's anything else we could find that might have to do with Alice or Charlie?"

"Of course, Jasper." Carlisle put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Why don't half of us head down there?" he suggested. "Edward, Bella, Jacob." He looked at us next. "Would you mind heading home with Renesmee and start calling around to as many vampires as you can? Ask them keep a lookout for anything suspicious that can help us, and pass the word around?"

"Yes, Carlisle," Edward agreed. "We'll see you at home. Be quick though. We should all stick close together as much as possible until we can figure all this out."

"Will do, Edward, thank you."

Then quickly they took off down the edge of the reservation with Sam, heading towards the ocean, while we ran back to our car and headed home.

Edward and I ran to our cottage to change out of our damp muddy clothes from our earlier brawl, bringing Jacob and Renesmee with us. I took a quick shower to get the rest of the dirt out of my hair while Edward took care of his daughter. If I wasn't so worried about Alice and Charlie, I would have asked him to join me. But my mind was so focused on my family I couldn't think about anything else, not now.

We finally got Renesmee to sleep on the couch after we arrived back at the main house. She looked so peaceful, considering how scared she had been just earlier today. Jacob would be out soon, too. His eyes were getting heavy as he listened to Edward making as many calls as he could. And my mind worried over and over every time he told the story to each vampire he contacted.

My poor father, and Alice, out there, somewhere, in the hands of an animal, or animals! What would it possibly want with them? I couldn't make heads or tails of any of it. And it was driving me crazy.

The rest of the Cullen's had arrived home by the time Edward had gotten a hold of everyone he could, changing into dry clothes themselves. They hadn't found any other clues, items or scents to go on. So now, all we could do was wait and see if anyone would contact us soon with any news…

It was just before three o'clock in the morning when Jasper's phone rang. He hadn't stopped pacing since he walked in the door, except for once, when he stood motionless in front of the glass window, staring out into the forest, focusing on nothing.

"Peter!" he said anxiously when he answered.

We listened carefully to see what Peter had called for. Hoping it was some kind of news.

"Carlisle!" Edward yelled. "You're going to want to come down here and hear this."

Carlisle was upstairs on his computer, researching anything he could on wild animal legends and mythological creatures that flew. After all, we existed, why shouldn't anything else…right?

"What is it?" he said as he ran downstairs.

Jasper handed the phone to him. "Peter needs to talk to you."

I couldn't tell by Jasper's face if Peter had any good news, or bad. He was just as sad, worried and tense as he was before.

"Edward?" I questioned. "What did Peter say? Is it about Alice or Charlie? Does he know anything?"

"He has some information that might help us, but wanted to talk to Carlisle more about it."

"What's the information?" I asked, getting my hopes up.

"It appears there's been another kidnapping? I'm not sure. Someone they know is also missing. Peter thinks we need to go and check it out, thinking they may be able to help us."

Then his eyes widened in surprise, still listening, before narrowing in confusion.

"Go? Go where?"

He didn't answer before Carlisle hung up with Peter, sighed, and then looked at all of us.

"Alright everyone, let's get packed," he instructed. "We're leaving for Slovakia as soon as possible."

"Slovakia?" Rosalie grimaced.

"Yes. The Slovakian vampires have run across some trouble themselves. Peter heard of their news just after word of ours reached him. They're asking for us."

Asking for us? I thought to myself.

"Do you know what happened?" Esme asked concerned.

"I don't have the full story, but Peter was very persistent. They've had someone taken from them as well, and they think we can help each other?"

"But so far away, Carlisle, how can the two be connected in any way?" Esme wondered.

"We don't even know the Slovakians, or that they existed. It doesn't make any sense!" Rosalie was frustrated.

Carlisle put his hand on her shoulder to calm her. "That's why we're going, Rosalie. What ever was here has left, and it's got our family. We can only hope it's heading back that way again, so we can meet it head on, and hopefully get our family back."

"I'd love to meet it head on!" Emmett said as he slammed his fist into his hand, causing a loud thunderous crack.

"I'm sure you'll get your chance, Emmett." Carlisle nodded at him. "We'll all want that chance." He pursed his lips together and nodded firmly for us all to go get ready.

Very rarely did I see Carlisle angry. This was one of those rare times.

Within ten minutes we were packed and ready to go. Esme got Carlisle ready while he purchased all our airline tickets.

Now it was time to wake Renesmee and Jacob to give them the news...



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