Edward drives Bella home, and they find Billy and Jacob Black waiting there, although Charlie is not yet home. Edward reads their minds and finds that Billy is there to warn Charlie but Jacob has no idea about the situation. Bella gets out and welcomes them in while Edward leaves. When Bella says Charlie is out fishing, Billy sends Jacob to get something from the car so that he can talk to Bella alone.
Billy tries to warn Bella about Edward, but she subtly reminds him of the pact that means he may not expose the Cullens to anyone. He suggests that Charlie should be as well informed as she is. Billy tells her to think about what she is doing—by which he means to stay away from Edward—as he and Jacob leave.
Charlie soon returns. As they eat dinner, Bella reveals that she is dating Edward. He is taken aback at first, but he seems to adjust himself to the situation. Edward comes over to pick Bella up, and the introduction goes fairly easily. They leave to go meet Edward’s family for a game of vampire baseball. They have to run for the last part of it, but this time Bella keeps her eyes closed, and she can barely tell they are moving.
They arrive at a giant clearing up in the mountains, and everyone else is already there. Esme walks slowly with Bella while the rest bound over, and Esme says that she is very happy that Edward has found someone, even if the situation is more complicated than it might otherwise be. The game begins. The bases are very far apart, no one is wearing gloves, and anytime anyone hits the ball, it makes a crack like thunder, which is why they can only play when it is storming.
Alice suddenly gasps, and Edward immediately runs over to Bella. The others ask Alice what is wrong, and she explains that her perspective was wrong—the other vampires heard them playing baseball and changed their path to come join them—and are only five minutes away at the most. Edward says he cannot get Bella away to safety quickly enough, so Carlisle decides that they should just keep playing since Edward, having read their minds, believes that they are just curious. Esme replaces Edward in the game so that he can stay right in front of Bella protectively.
Everyone watches the edges of the field closely. Suddenly Edward tenses, and the others watch for the other vampires to appear. Three emerge from the woods—one woman and two men—and one of the men is clearly the leader. The leader approaches Carlisle and introduces himself as Laurent and the other two as Victoria and James. Bella notices that they all have sinister, burgundy-colored eyes.
They ask if they can play, too, but Carlisle says they are just finishing up the game. The tense atmosphere slowly dissipates into more casual conversation. Carlisle invites them to come back to the house, asking that they refrain from hunting in the immediate area because the Cullens have to remain inconspicuous. Suddenly, though, the wind blows, and James stiffens and turns to look at Bella.
James and Edward immediately drop into crouches, growling at each other, while Carlisle explains that Bella is not fair game because she is with them. Laurent is astounded, but he says that they would like to accept the invitation to the Cullens’ house, and he says that they will not do anything to Bella. James seems dismayed. Edward, Emmett, and Alice quickly take Bella to the Jeep before he can do anything.
Bella realizes that the Jeep is heading away from Forks, and she asks where they are going. Edward explains that they have to get her far, far away, but Bella screams that they have to take her back so that Charlie does not call the FBI and make them all have to leave Forks forever. Edward explains that James is a tracker: once he finds someone he wants to hunt, he never gives up.
Bella offers an alternative plan to take her home, where she will tell Charlie that she wants to return to Phoenix. With James watching, they will go to the airport, which also would protect Charlie, and then Edward can take Bella wherever he wants. Charlie will not know that anything is wrong. They all agree that it is a good plan, but they argue over who will go with Bella. Edward wants to go, but they all eventually agree that it is best for Jasper and Alice to take her because James would expect Edward to be with her.
Bella worries about how to convince Charlie to let her leave. She realizes that the only way is to hurt him deeply. She thus storms into the house, tears pouring down her face, and says she broke up with Edward because she does not want to put down any more roots in Forks and make the same mistake her mother did, getting stuck there. The outburst somehow works and she leaves, speeding toward the airport with Edward, Alice, and Emmett all protecting her.
Back at the other house, Laurent is there. Laurent says that he was worried that once Edward defended Bella, James would decide to track her—and there is no way to stop him. Laurent also says that James is completely lethal; he has seen nothing like James throughout his three hundred years. This is why he joined his coven.
Carlisle tells Laurent that he will have to choose a side. Laurent replies that rather than stay and thwart James, he will leave for the other peaceful clan that lives in Denali. Edward and Carlisle leave, expecting James to track them. They intend to hunt him once Bella is safe. Also, Esme and Rosalie leave to try to distract Victoria. Alice and Jasper then run out with Bella.
In this section, a much greater danger than Edward is suddenly introduced, providing the most suspense in the novel so far. The violent possibilities in the nature of vampires have been almost fully in check up to this point, but for the first time there is a serious threat of death to a human. The presence of danger and conflict makes clear where the different characters’ priorities all lie. Most importantly, Bella’s first thought is that if she leaves unexpectedly, Charlie will blame Edward and bring attention to his family, meaning that the Cullens will have to leave Forks. She feels this way even before she worries about Charlie’s safety, prioritizing Edward and his family. She is willing to sacrifice her relationship with Charlie in order to get her plan to work. She seems to be more focused on the Cullens than her safety for her own sake.
Edward and most of the vampires, for their part, are also worried not about themselves so much as for Bella. They hardly hesitate, if at all, about doing what is needed to protect her. The one exception is Rosalie, who resents the fact that Bella’s presence has put them all in danger. Thus she stands, again, as Bella’s opposite—whereas Bella is worried only for the others, Rosalie does not really care about Bella and is most worried about herself and her family. Of course the others have self-preservation mixed in with their concern for others, but Rosalie seems to be farthest on the self-preservation side of the spectrum.
That Bella is in danger once again leads Edward to make a choice against his strong desires. Throughout the novel, he has thought he should distance himself from Bella in order to protect her, yet he has never been able to do so because he cannot bear to be apart from her. This section is the only one, however, in which he does successfully separate himself from her, still to protect her—this time from James. Edward has proven himself quite able to sacrifice his desires for Bella’s sake.
With the desires of others dictating what happens to Bella, Bella seems to lose a great deal of control over her own life in this section. Symbolically this is signaled by others driving or carrying her around. When James appears, she loses much of her free agency, now having to do what the vampires tell her to do, being unable to survive without their help. She retains her reason, however, and takes part in the planning. In the end they decide that her plan is actually the best, giving her some determination over her fate, but it is important to note that she is so weak in this situation that she must persuade the others that her plan is best.
This section more directly focuses on the theme of good and evil. James is the polar opposite, morally, of the Cullens. Not only does he hunt humans, but he also enjoys the hunt. He does not hunt humans just to survive or because it is what vampires do; he hunts because he enjoys the thrill of it. Whether or not his natural urges are inherently evil, his indulgence of these urges is. He does not even try to engage in self-control.
Vampire baseball, with the hits sounding thunderously, reminds readers of old American and Native American myths about strange beings playing ball or even bowling in the mountainous wilderness. Rip Van Winkle, for instance, in Washington Irving’s story, encounters a strange party high in the mountains, bowling. Of course, vampire bowling involves much greater power than human baseball, being related to myths of divine beings creating thunder.