Chapter Ninteen – Selfish

Chapter Number: 19

Chapter Name: Selfish

 Page Numbers:  410 – 433

 Date of Chapter: June 12

After staying out all night to watch the Cullens’ battle exercises, Bella sleeps late into the following afternoon.  When she wakes, Edward reminds her that she could — and should — have stayed behind, but she insists that she is now part of the family and should be included.  While she’s getting breakfast, Edward notices Jake’s wolf charm dangling from Bella’s wrist.  He asks to see it and for a fleeting instant Bella worries he might break it.  But he only points out the inequity: Jake is allowed to give her presents and he is not. Bella shrugs and says that Edward has already given her more than she could ever deserve: himself.  Each reflects for a moment on the other’s ridiculous inability to see themselves clearly.  Edward asks if she would accept a charm from him too.  Nothing expensive: a hand-me-down.  Bella agrees, relieved that his reaction was no worse.

 When Alice calls Edward, Bella nervously guesses that she’s going to warn him about her intention of sneaking off to join the Cullens in battle.  But Edward has all ready guessed it from things she said in her sleep and insists it’s out of the question.  When she suggests that Seth will help her defy him, he retorts that Jake will forbid it — and Seth will have to obey, because Jake is Sam’s second-in-command.  This is news to Bella.

To distract her, Edward talks about the discoveries he’s made while listening to the pack mind last night.  For one thing, one of the wolves isn’t a Quileute boy at all — it’s Leah Clearwater.  Bella reflects how painful it must be for her and Sam to be in such intimate mental contact.  Edward unsympathetically replies that Leah is making life as difficult as she can for the rest of them. 

But Bella persists: if Edward is going into danger, she refuses to be left behind.  She considers asking him to stay safely with her instead.  Her better part is appalled by her own selfishness, but her instincts for self-protection are stronger. Ignoring her guilt, she tells Edward the one thing she knows will keep him at her side: if he leaves her alone worrying about his safety, it will overset her mental balance again, as it did when he left her last autumn. 

Edward tries to convince her that her fears are totally groundless and that it will be an easy victory.  Playing off his confidence, Bella suggests that since it’s going to be so easy that he could sit out.  One way or the other, she insists, she needs to be with him. After a long, guilt filled moment of consideration, Edward agrees saying that Bella is his first priority.  Bella feels even worse, that she is asking him to choose between her and his family.   But he replies that she has offered him two alternatives — to stay together at the site of the battle or to sit it out together — and he has chosen the one that he can live with. 

Alice arrives to keep an eye on Bella while Edward goes to talk with Jasper about the strategic implications of his decision to sit out.  She reiterates Edward’s reassurances that the battle will be a piece of cake.  Charlie returns home, and Alice takes this opportunity to maneuver him into suggesting that Bella keep Alice company Friday night and Saturday, while the rest of the Cullens are away on a supposed camping trip.  Bella can now take part in the battle plans without Charlie being any the wiser.

 When Bella retires to bed, Edward is waiting for her.  He reveals to her one small change in Alice’s plans — he will be the one staying with her at the Cullens’ Friday night, while the others are hunting.  The thought of a night alone with Edward in an empty house is appealing.  Edward brings her back to the clearing to watch the night’s exercises; now that she knows Edward will be safe, she is no longer paralyzed with terror about the upcoming battle. 

This time, only Jake, Quil and Embry have come to watch.  Bella is stricken with guilt afresh when Edward explains that tonight they’re practicing handling two enemies at once — a reminder that the Cullens are still outnumbered, and Edward’s absence will reduce their numbers further.  Gazing at the werewolves, she feels a further wave of anxiety.  Jake catches her agonized glance and trots over to her side. It’s stupid to worry, he tells her impatiently — Edward translating — but Bella isn’t wholly reassured. Edward goes to join his family in practicing, and Jake settles down beside Bella.  After some hesitation she settles against his warm, furry flank to watch the Cullens exercise. 

Characters Involved: Edward Cullen, Bella Swan, Alice Cullen, Charlie Swan, Carlisle Cullen, Esme Cullen, Jasper Hale, Emmet Cullen, Rosalie Hale, Jacob Black, Embry Call, Quil Ateara

Characters Mentioned:  Seth Clearwater, Leah Clearwater, Emily Young, Sam Uley, Quil Ateara Sr., Joshua Uley, Billy Black

Places Visited: the Swan home, the baseball clearing

Memorable Quotes:
 “You know, you need to start accepting the fact that I’m part of the family now.”  ~ Bella to Edward

“Jacob Black can give you presents.”  ~ Edward to Bella.

 “The way you regard me is ludicrous.”  ~ Edward to Bella

 “You worry too much Bella.  You’re going to go prematurely grey.”  ~ Alice to Bella

 “I’m the only one with permission to hold you hostage, remember?”  ~ Edward to Bella

Important Information learned:
Edward is aware of Bella’s plans to run off and intends to stop her if she even tries.

Leah Clearwater is a werewolf.

Bella asks Edward to sit out the battle and he agrees.

Bella and Edward will spend a night together alone at his home.

Alice, Edward, and even Jacob believe that the battle will be an easy one.

Bella finds it very comfortable to be around Jake in his wolf form.

Jake is Sam’s "second in command" of the wolf pack.

Chapter Prepared By:  December