As Bella drifts away, she dreams that she hears another, lower growl enter the room. She then feels a sharp pain in her hand. She thinks she is dead because she hears an angel calling to her. She hears awful sounds of fighting, however, and she starts to regain consciousness as Carlisle pokes at her. He tells Edward her head wound is shallow and that she has some broken ribs and a broken leg, but should be fine overall. Bella’s hand starts to burn intensely. As she screams that her hand is on fire, Carlisle realizes that James bit her.
Alice tells Edward that he has to turn her, but Carlisle says that there may be another option: it might be possible to suck the venom out of her hand. Edward thinks he will not be able to stop himself once he starts, but Carlisle says he has to stop the bleeding in her head, so Edward has to do it. Edward steels himself. He is able to suck the venom out successfully.
Bella tries to tell Alice that she knows where she came from, but she is sleepy from the morphine Carlisle has given her. She finally passes out. She wakes up in a hospital with Edward beside her. He tells her that her Alice called her mother and Charlie, and Renee is in the hospital getting something to eat. They were told that Bella fell down a staircase and through a window. Edward tells Bella that Emmett and Jasper finished James off after Edward pulled him off of Bella, but they had to leave the room afterward because of all of Bella’s blood that had been spilled.
Bella’s mother comes in, and Edward pretends to be sleeping in his chair. Renee reveals that Phil has been signed onto a team in Jacksonville, so Bella can move there with them. Bella says that she wants to stay in Forks, however, but Renee is now incredulous. Bella finally convinces her, and Renee leaves to call Phil, leaving Bella with Edward again. Edward says that she should have agreed to go to Florida, where she could be far from him and therefore much safer. Bella panics at this, however, and makes him promise not to leave her. He responds that he seems unable to leave her anyway, so she will get her way in the end.
Bella then asks why he did not just let her turn into a vampire, which would have made them equals in this aspect of their relationship. Edward is adamant that he will not do that to her. He does not regret that it happened to him, but he would have died anyway, so he was not actually sacrificing his own life. Meanwhile, Bella has Renee and Charlie, among other things, to think about, and she has a chance to live a human life. Bella gets Edward to admit that Alice has seen a vision of Bella as a vampire. Edward insists, however, that her visions do not always come true.
Later, Bella has spent the day at the Cullens, with Alice dressing her up and giving her a makeover. Bella is now wearing a formal dress and walking cast, and Edward is in a tuxedo. Edward puts her into his car, and Bella asks him where he is taking her. In the car Charlie calls Edward and then puts Tyler on the phone. Edward tells Tyler that he is sorry for the misunderstanding, but Bella is unavailable tonight—and every night as far as he is concerned. Bella suddenly realizes that Edward must be taking her to the prom.
Bella becomes so angry that she starts to cry, not wanting to be subjected to the prom. He convinces her that it will be fine, and she concedes, letting him lead her in. He puts her feet on top of his and does all the dancing himself, and Bella finds that she actually enjoys herself.
Suddenly Jacob Black is there, and he asks to cut in. Edward unhappily agrees, and Jacob tells Bella that his father paid him to come and tell her that she should break up with Edward. Bella is nice about it, knowing that this warning is not Jacob’s fault and that Billy means well.
Edward resumes dancing with her, and they go outside, where they sit together on a bench. Bella asks why Edward took her there, and he explains that he wants her to have the normal life she would have had if she had never met him. She tries to convince him again to change her into a vampire, but he is steadfast.
As Bella passes out from pain and blood loss after James attacks her, she believes that she hears an angel calling to her. This conflation between Edward and a heavenly figure shows that her faith in her love for him is akin to a faith in a higher being. It also finally puts to rest the notion that a vampire must be evil, if any readers still thought so.
Edward’s self-control is put to its greatest test in this section. Emmett and Jasper cannot stay in the room after they kill Jasper, for the smell of Bella’s blood is too tempting, even though they do not have the same special affinity for it that Edward has. Yet Edward, to whom Bella’s blood is more tempting than anything else, is not only able to be in the room with her, but he also is able to drink just enough of her blood to save her from turning into a vampire, keeping the vampire venom from doing its work. He can stop himself from going too far. Once again, Edward shows a level of maturity that should be inspirational to people of any age but especially those of Bella’s age, giving them hope that they too can control their strongest urges to do things that they know are wrong or bad for them or others. In this way he is a girlfriend’s dream, a strong male who knows not to go too far and who controls himself to just the right degree.
Edward’s self-control in this instance also shows that Edward is probably capable of changing Bella into a vampire without killing her—if they both wanted it. It is clear that Bella wants to live Edward’s kind of life along with him for centuries or even forever, but Edward remains steadfast against it. Beyond the risks to her and the pain she would go through, which she has hardly any idea about, she would be giving up everything about her current life including her family—she would, essentially, be dying to her old self. Although it would mean that they could be together forever, Edward is not willing to let her pay such an ultimate price.
Although Bella pretends to think the sacrifices she would have to make would not be so great, she does see that it would mean giving up a huge amount. Nevertheless, Edward has so turned her world around that this loss is not enough to deter her. She has never felt totally comfortable in a normal human world anyway, not really in a fully stable family relationship and always feeling a little too awkward to feel normal in social life. Like many people her age, she sees the idea of becoming a vampire as a convenient escape, made all the better by having such a wonderful boyfriend-vampire to share her life with. Indeed, given an opportunity to leave Forks and the weather she hates so much, she now is adamant about staying. Edward does not go out in the sunlight, so rain and fog now mean something good to her—they are a sign that she can go out with Edward. With Edward, after all, even the prom—something Bella always thought she would loathe—becomes not just bearable but also fun and truly romantic. Even if Edward were not a vampire, it seems, in Edward she has found the escape she needs. She will follow him or stay with him, wherever he is, even at great cost in every other area of her life.
These costs seem bearable because as a vampire herself, she really could have virtually forever with Edward. She fears that as time passes and she ages while Edward remains seventeen, they will grow apart. Furthermore, as it is now, they will never have equality in their relationship, for he always has to be protecting her and saving her. If he were to change her, then they could be more like equals and thus have a more even foundation on which to build their love. Whether she will become a vampire is the great unanswered question at the end of the novel, bringing readers to want to know what will happen next to this very unusual couple.