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Twilight Series #4: Breaking Dawn
by Stephanie Meyer

p.1-2 When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight, when doing so would hurt that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give your beloved, how could you not give it?
     If it was someone you truly loved?

p.7 I listened to the men’s voices outside, muted by the car walls.
     “...went at it with a flamethrower in the online video. Didn’t even pucker the paint.”
     “Of course not. You could roll a tank over this baby. Not much of a market for one over here. Designed for Middle East diplomats, arms dealers, and drug lords mostly.”
     “Think she’s something?” the short one asked in a softer voice. I ducked my head, my cheeks flaming.
     “Huh,” the tall one said. “Maybe. Can’t imagine you’d need missile-proof glass and four thousand pounds of body armor around here. Must be headed somewhere more hazardous.”
     Body armor. Four thousand pounds of body armor. And missile-proof glass? Nice. What happened to good old-fashioned bulletproof?
     Well, at least this made some sense--if you had a twisted sense of humor.

p.8 This was just the “before” car. He’d told me it was a loaner and promised that he was returning it after the wedding. It had all made absolutely no sense to me. Until now.
     Ha ha. Because I was so fragilely human, so accident-prone, so much a victim to my own dangerous bad luck, apparently I needed a tank-resistant car to keep me safe. Hilarious. I was sure he and his brothers had enjoyed the joke quite a bit behind my back.
     Or maybe, a small voice whispered in my head, it’s not a joke, silly. Maybe he’s really worried about you. This wouldn’t be the first time he’s gone a little overboard trying to protect you.
     I sighed.

p.16-17 “Getting married, though? What’s the rush?” He eyed me suspiciously again.
     The rush was due to the fact that I was getting closer to nineteen every stinking day, while Edward stayed frozen in all his seventeen-year-old perfection, as he had for over ninety years. Not that this fact necessitated my marriage in my book, but the wedding was required due to the delicate and tangled compromise Edward and I had made to finally get to this point, the brink of my transformation from mortal to immortal.
     These weren’t things I could explain to Charlie.
     “We’re going away to Dartmouth together in the fall, Charlie,” Edward reminded him. “I’d like to do that, well, the right way. It’s how I was raised.” He shrugged.
     He wasn’t exaggerating; they’d been big on old-fashioned morals during World War I.
     Charlie’s mouth twisted to the side. Looking for an angle to argue from. But what could he say? I’d prefer you live in sin first? He was a dad; his hands were tied.

p.17 I paused with my hand on the doorknob, smiling. Sure, at the time, Charlie’s words had terrified me. The ultimate doom: telling Renée. Early marriage was higher up on her blacklist than boiling live puppies.

p.64 My relationship with Jacob used to be so easy. Natural as breathing. But since Edward had come back into my life, it was a constant strain. Because--in Jacob’s eyes--by choosing Edward, I was choosing a fate worse than death, or at least equivalent to it.

p.77 Oh, well, I thought to myself. He was a vampire, after all. Maybe we were going to Atlantis.

p.90-91 “Edward.”
     He didn’t move.
     Nothing. So, this would be a monologue, then.
     “I’m not sorry, Edward. I’m...I can’t even tell you. I’m so happy. That doesn’t cover it. Don’t be angry. I’m really f--”
     “Do not say the word fine.” His voice was ice cold. “If you value my sanity, do not say that you are fine.”
     “But I am,” I whispered.
     “Bella,” he almost moaned. “Don’t.”
     “No. You don’t, Edward.”
     He moved his arm; his gold eyes watched me warily.
     “Don’t ruin this,” I told him. “I. Am. Happy.”
     “I’ve already ruined this,” he whispered.
     “Cut it out,” I snapped.
     I heard his teeth grind together.
     “Ugh!” I groaned. “Why can’t you just read my mind already! It’s so inconvenient to be a mental mute!”
     His eyes widened a little bit, distracted in spite of himself.
     “That’s a new one. You love that I can’t read your mind.”
     “Not today.”
     He stared at me. “Why?”
     I threw my hands up in frustration, feeling an ache in my shoulder that I ignored. My palms fell back against his chest with a sharp smack. “Because all this angst would be completely unnecessary if you could see how I feel right now! Or five minutes ago, anyway. I was perfectly happy. Totally and completely blissed out. Now--well, I’m sort of pissed, actually.”
     “You should be angry at me.”
     “Well, I am. Does that make you feel better?”
     He sighed. “No. I don’t think anything could make me feel better now.”
     “That,” I snapped. “That right there is why I’m angry. You are killing my buzz, Edward.”
     He rolled his eyes and shook his head.

p.126 And human men--they pretty much stayed the same from puberty to death.”

p.149 Maybe there would be no story at all Maybe Charlie would call to ask my dad if he’d heard anything from Dr. Cullen, who just didn’t show up to work one day. The house abandoned. No answer on any of the Cullens’ phones. The mystery picked up by some second-rate news program, foul play suspected...
     Maybe the big white house would burn to the ground, everyone trapped inside. Of course, they’d need bodies for that one. Eight humans of roughly the right size. Burned beyond recognition--beyond the help of dental records.
     Either of these would be tricky--for me, that is. It would be hard to find them if they didn’t want to be found. Of course, I had forever to look. If you had forever, you could check out every single piece of straw in the haystack, one by one, to see if it was the needle.

Jacob p.153 It was hard being around imprinted people. No matter what stage they were in--about to tie the knot like Sam or just a much-abused nanny like Quil--the peace and certainty they always radiated was downright puke-inducing.
     Claire squealed on his shoulders and pointed at the ground. “Pity wock, Qwil! For me, for me!”
     “Which one, kiddo? The red one?”
     “No wed!”
     Quil dropped to his knees--Claire screamed and pulled h is hair like a horse’s reigns.
     “This blue one?”
     “No, no, no...,” the little girl sang, thrilled with her new game.
     The weird part was, Quil was having just as much fun as she was. He didn’t have that face on that so many of the tourist dads and moms were wearing--the when-is-naptime? face. You never saw a real parent so jazzed to play whatever stupid kiddie sport their rugrat could think up. I’d seen Quil play peekaboo for an hour straight without getting bored.
     And I couldn’t even make fun of him for it--I envied him too much.

p.156 I cut behind the store and darted across the highway. Somebody honked at me. Once in the safety of the trees, I ran faster, taking longer strides. People would stare if I was out in the open. Normal people couldn’t run like this. Sometimes I thought it might be fun to enter a race--you know, like the Olympic trials or something. It would be cool to watch the expressions on those star athletes’ faces when I blew by them. Only I was pretty sure the testing they did to make sure you weren’t on steroids would probably turn up some really freaky crap in my blood.

p.185 I felt like--like I don’t know what. Like this wasn’t real. Like I was in some Goth version of a bad sitcom. Instead of being the A/V dweeb about to ask the head cheerleader to the prom, I was the finished-second-place werewolf about to ask the vampire’s wife to shack up and procreate. Nice.

p.188 “Did you know that ‘I told you so’ has a brother, Jacob?” she asked, cutting me off. “His name is ‘Shut the hell up.’”

p.215 Stop being so. . . Took me a minute to decide on the right word. Optimistic. It’s getting on my nerves.
     No problem. You want me to be all doom and gloom, or just shut up?
     Just shut up.
     Can do.
     Really? Doesn’t seem like it.

     He was finally quiet.

p.215-216 And then we were across the road and moving through the forest that ring the Cullens’ house. Could Edward hear us yet?
     Maybe we should be thinking something like, “We come in peace.”
     Go for it.
He called the name tentatively. Edward, you there? Okay, now I feel kinda stupid.
     You sound stupid, too.
     Think he can hear us?

     We were less than a mile out now. I think so. Hey, Edward. If you can hear me--circle the wagons, bloodsucker. You’ve got a problem.
     We’ve got a problem
, Seth corrected.

p.230 Seth, are you gonna get mad at me if I kill your sister?
     He pretended to think about it for a moment. Well. . .yeah, probably.

p.259 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. Get out of here.
     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 temper--it took her the usual length of time to stop exploding out of her clothes every time she got pissed. We’d 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.

p.266-267 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’ grosses thing I’ve heard in my life. Yuck. If there was anything in my stomach, it would be coming back.
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.
     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?

p.303-304 The baby, the baby. Like that was all that mattered. Bella’s life was a minor detail to her--easy to blow off.
     Edward’s face went white as snow. His hands curved into claws. Totally egotistical and indifferent, Rosalie twisted in her chair so that her back was to him. he leaned forward, shifting into a crouch.
     Allow me, I suggested.
     He paused, raising one eyebrow.
     Silently, I lifted my doggy bowl off the floor. Then, with a quick. powerful flip of my wrist, I threw it into the back of Blondie’s head so hard that--with an earsplitting bang--it smashed flat before it ricocheted across the room and snapped the round top piece off the thick newel post at the foot of the stairs.
     Bella twitched but didn’t wake up.
     “Dumb blonde,” I muttered.
     Rosalie turned her head slowly, and her eyes were blazing.
     “You. Got. Food. In. My. Hair.”
     That did it.
     I busted up. I pulled away from Bella so that I wouldn’t shake her, and laughed so hard that tears ran down my face. From behind the couch, I heard Alice’s tinkling laugh join in.
     I wondered why Rosalie didn’t spring. I sort of expected it. But then I realized that my laughing had woken Bella up, though she’d slept through the real noise.
     “What’s so funny?” she mumbled.
     “I got food in her hair,” I told her, chortling again.
     “I’m not going to forget this, dog,” Rosalie hissed.
     “S’not so hard to erase a blonde’s memory,” I countered. “Just blow in her ear.”

p.413-414 I could finally understand why Edward never hit the trees when he ran--a question that had always been a mystery to me. It was a peculiar sensation, the balance between the speed and the clarity. For, while I rocketed over, under, and through the thick jade maze at a rate that should have reduced everything to a streaky green blur, I could plainly see each tiny leaf on all the small branches of every insignificant shrub that I passed.
     The wind of my speed blew my hair and my torn dress out behind me, and, though I knew it shouldn’t, it felt warm against my skin. Just as the rough forest floor shouldn’t feel like velvet beneath my bare soles, and the limbs that whipped against my skin shouldn’t feel like caressing feathers.
     The forest was much more alive than I’d ever known--small creatures whose existence I’d never guessed at teemed in the leaves around me. They all grew silent after we passed, their breath quickening in fear. The animals had a much wiser reaction to our scent than humans seemed to. Certainly, it’d had the opposite effect on me.
     I kept waiting to feel winded, but my breath came effortlessly. I waited for the burn to begin in my muscles, but my strength only seemed to increase as I grew accustomed to my stride. My leaping bounds stretched longer, and soon he was trying to keep up with me. I laughed again, exultant, when I heard him falling behind. My naked feet touched the ground so infrequently now it felt more like flying than running.

p.435-436 “I’m getting older here, Bella,” Jacob taunted. “Okay, not technically, but you get the idea. Go on, take a whiff.”
     “Hold on to me,” I said to Edward, cringing back into his chest.
     His hands tightened on my arms.
     I locked my muscles in place, hoping I could keep them frozen. I resolved that I would do at least as well as I had on the hunt. Worst-case scenario, I would stop breathing and run for it. Nervously, I took a tiny breath in through my nose, braced for anything.
     It hurt a little, but my throat was already burning dully anyway. Jacob didn’t smell that much more human than the mountain lion. There was an animal edge to his blood that instantly repelled. Though the loud, wet sound of his heart was appealing, the scent that went with it made my nose wrinkle. It was actually easier with the smell to temper my reaction to the sound and heat of his pulsing blood.
     I took another breath and relaxed. “Huh. I can see what everyone’s been going on about. You stink, Jacob.”
     Edward burst into laughter; his hands slipped from my shoulders to wrap around my waist. Seth barked a low chortle in harmony with Edward; he came a little closer while Leah retreated several paces. And then I was aware of another audience when I heard Emmett’s low, distinct guffaw, muffled a little by the glass wall between us.
     “Look who’s talking,” Jacob said, theatrically plugging his nose. His face didn’t pucker at all while Edward embraced me, not even when Edward composed himself and whispered “I love you” in my ear. Jacob just kept grinning. This made me feel hopeful that things were going to be right between us, the way they hadn’t been for so long now. Maybe now I could truly be his friend, since I disgusted him enough physically that he couldn’t love me the same way as before. Maybe that was all that was needed.

p.482-483 A very, very small part of my head considered the interesting conundrum presented in this situation. I was never going to get tired, and neither was he. We didn’t have to catch our breath or rest or eat or even use the bathroom; we had no more mundane human needs. He had the most beautiful, perfect body in the world and I had him all to myself, and it didn’t feel like I was ever going to find a point where I would think, Now I’ve had enough for one day. I was always going to want more. And the day was never going to end. So, in such a situation, how did we ever stop?
     It didn’t bother me at all that I had no answer.

p.485 We laughed together, and the motion of our laughter did interesting things to the way our bodies were connected, effectively ending our conversation.

p.488 “Alice,” we said together. He said her name like an explanation; I said it like an expletive.

p.521-522 Fascinated by the undeniable proof that I was stronger than the strongest vampire I’d ever known, I placed my hand, fingers spread wide, against the rock. Then I dug my fingers slowly into the stone, crushing rather than digging; the consistency reminded me of hard cheese. I ended up with a handful of gravel.
     “Cool,” I mumbled.
     With a grin stretching my face, I whirled in a sudden circle and karate-chopped the rock with the side of my hand. The stone shrieked and groaned and--with a big poof of dust--split in two.
     I started giggling.
     I didn’t pay much attention to the chuckles behind me while I punched and kicked the rest of the boulder into fragments. I was having too much fun, snickering away the whole time. It wasn’t until I heard a new little giggle, a high-pitched peal of bells, that I turned away from my silly game.
     “Did she just laugh?”
     Everyone was staring at Renesmee with the same dumbstruck expression that must have been on my face.
     “Yes,” Edward said.
     “Who wasn’t laughing?” Jake muttered, rolling his eyes.
     “Tell me you didn’t let go a bit on your first run, dog,” Edward teased, no antagonism in his voice at all.
     “That’s different,” Jacob said, and I watched in surprise as he mock-punched Edward’s shoulder. “Bella’s supposed to be a grown-up. Married and a mom and all that. shouldn’t there be more dignity?”
     Renesmee frowned, and touched Edward’s face.
     “What does she want?”
     “Less dignity,” Edward said with a grin. “She was having almost as much fun watching you enjoy yourself as I was.”
     “Am I funny?” I asked Renesmee, darting back and reaching for her at the same time that she reached for me. I took her out of Edward’s arms and offered her the shard of rock in my hand. “You want to try?”
     She smiled her glittering smile and took the stone in both hands. She squeezed, a little dent forming between her eyebrows as she concentrated.
     There was a tiny grinding sound, and a bit of dust. She frowned, and held the chunk up to me.
     “I’ll get it,” I said, pinching the stone into sand.
     She clapped and laughed; the delicious sound of it made us all join in.

p.608 I was amazed at the easy acceptance the visiting vampires had for Jacob; the problems Edward had anticipated had never materialized. Jacob seemed more or less invisible to them, not quite a person, but also not food, either. They treated him the way people who are not animal-lovers treat the pets of their friends.