"Not sure how she'll feel about bloodsucker castoffs. She's not as practical as I am."큐큐알바

"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."
"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.

"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."

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.

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.