I watched Riley's back as he took off. I knew he was lying. Diego couldn't have been here; there wasn't even a trace of his scent. I followed the scents of the others till I could see a clearing through the trees. I took account of all of the scents and I knew that the red-haired female, the one that created us, was also not here. The yellow-eyes were here and they appeared to have been waiting for us. Was this a trap? I stayed in the trees, skirting around, using them for cover.
I became aware of a steady thumping. Could it be heartbeats maybe? And what was that smell? It was awful. Then I saw them. Seven giant creatures sprang into the clearing. They looked like wolves, but they couldn't be, they were far too big. A large black one leapt at Raoul his teeth clamped down on his arm and bit it right off. How could it do that? We were indestructible, weren't we? What was going on?
I didn't care, I needed to get out of here and find Fred. I didn’t know what had happened to Diego, but I couldn't stay here. I began to run but stopped after a few minutes. I couldn't pick up Fred’s scent; the foul stench from the clearing seemed to be everywhere. I would have to go back the way I came and find my way back to Seattle. Maybe Diego had run off and was still there. Even if I couldn't find him, I would still have time to catch up with Fred.
The only way back I knew was through the clearing, but it was obvious I couldn't go back there now. I'd just have to wait until they were all gone. I moved further into the forest and crouched down at the base of a large tree, hoping the wait wouldn't be too long. I could hear the screech of vampires being torn apart and the growls of the wolves. Were the creatures destroying everyone, the yellow-eyes and the army? A fire had been lit; I could smell the distinct aroma of burning vampire. I decided to wait a bit longer before I made my move.
A series of howls pierced the air, and I cringed, covering my ears in a futile attempt to block out the sound. Then... nothing. The moment I made my decision to move, I heard a voice that struck fear into my core. It was the girl, the one with the dark cloak that had given the ultimatum to her. I couldn't stay here, they would find me and tell her I’d run away.
I ran further into the forest. I didn't know where I was headed but I needed to get as far away from the vampires with cloaks as possible. I'd not been running long, when I caught that awful scent again. I could hear footfalls and a heartbeat. Oh crap, one of the creatures was following me. Panic gripped me as I tried to pinpoint its position so I could figure out the best way to escape. Where was it? Was it circling me? The next second I stopped short, my feet making a divot in the dirt as I whirled round in time to see a large, sandy brown shape spring through the trees.
It was one of the creatures; its teeth were bared and it snarled, stalking towards me. My first instinct was to attack, but I'd seen what they could do, so I froze on the spot. Run, my mind shouted at me, but instinct stopped me from turning my back on it. I moved backwards until my back hit a tree. It was over, this creature would destroy me.
It continued to stalk forward. I sank down pulling my knees towards my chest, my hands coming up to cover my face and I couldn't stop the whimper that escaped my lips. I didn't move, knowing I would feel the beasts scorching breath moments before its teeth tore into my stone flesh.
Observing the creature through my fingers, I surmised it was definitely a wolf--a freaky, horse-sized monster of a wolf with razor sharp teeth, but still a wolf. It stopped about ten feet away, pacing from side to side, never taking its eyes off me. What was it waiting for? Maybe it wouldn't attack. I lowered my hands and pushed myself up. The wolf immediately lunged forward about a foot and snapped at me. I crouched back down and it retreated again, a low growl rumbling in its chest. I didn't cover my face this time; we just stared at each other. What now?
I don't know how long we stayed like that. As long as I didn't move, it didn't come any closer. I became aware of another heartbeat, then more footfalls. The stench intensified and I knew more were coming. Was that what it was waiting for? For the others to come and tear me to pieces?
A darker brown wolf bounded through the trees and stood next to the other one. It looked at me, but didn't come any closer. I thought about getting up again, but given the reaction that had provoked last time and the fact that there were now two of them, I stayed put. I really wanted to get away; not knowing how close the cloaked vampires were unnerved me. Then I wondered; had these creatures attacked them too? Were all they all gone?
The other wolf looked me over, huffed and sprang back into the trees. What now? Was it going to get the others? I was starting to get annoyed. I was going to die anyway; it couldn't hurt to vent a little.
“Is that it? Are you just going to keep me here till your buddies come to help you tear me to pieces?” I shouted at it. “Why wait? Does it have to be a group thing?” I was yelling at a wolf, pointless I know, but I was pissed.
It stared at me and shook its head from side to side. Did it mean no, it wasn't waiting for its buddies or it wasn't going to kill me? Now I was being ridiculous. It was an animal, of course it couldn't understand me, let alone answer me.
I picked up a twig and began tracing patterns on the ground. The wolf continued its pacing.
I registered the scent and the sense of panic caused me to jump to my feet. A snarl ripped from my guard and I cowered into the tree squeezing my eyes shut in terror. The scent was unmistakeable. Vampire. Two of them. Had the cloaked ones found me?
There was silence, then a voice. “Thank you, Seth. We'll take it from here.” I opened my eyes slightly. At the tree line stood the darker brown wolf and two blonde, male vampires. Both of them had yellow eyes. One of them was covered in scars.
Jake, Jake. I couldn't stop myself from whimpering as I registered the pain passing through his body as the vamp crushed his ribs. Edward felt it too, but he was distracted by the imminent arrival of the Italian vamps. The short one had relayed a message to Edward via Sam; we didn't want these other vamps knowing about us.
“No, Seth, go straight home,” Edward instructed. He was not my alpha but his words were delivered with authority. I wanted to head for the clearing, check on Jake.
“Trust me.” His voice was sincere, so I turned towards the res.
I took off, hoping my judgement was right, that I could trust Edward. He seemed cool, but Sam was always reminding us what they really were. The high from killing that vamp had vanished when I saw what happened to Jake.
I was approaching the boundary line when it hit me. I was getting too familiar with the scent now. One of them was still here and heading for our land. It was running, so I circled around, hoping I could steer it back towards the clearing and the Cullens. Unfortunately it was closer than I thought and I decided to come straight at its back.
As I came through the trees, it stopped and turned to face me. I was expecting it to attack, so I snarled and approached it cautiously. It backed up to a tree then dropped down to the base and curled into a ball, facing me. That was unexpected. It was female and looked quite small, but I didn't want to get too close. I knew about these newborns, they could be vicious and uncontrolled.
My mind reached out to see if anyone was still phased. Jared came to me. Thank goodness it wasn't Paul.
Seth, where are you? Get your ass back here; Leah's having a …
I knew he had spotted the vamp in my head. Oh crap! Stay well back. I'm on my way.
I could see the forest blur past him as he ran. The vamp lowered her hands and stood up.
Keep it down, Jared screamed at me.
I leapt forward slightly, growled a warning and bared my teeth. It crouched back down but did not cover its face this time. I decided to pace, keep it unsure of my movements.
Now that her face was uncovered, I noticed how young she looked. She was short, probably not much taller than the fortune teller vamp. Her eyes were bright red, so she definitely wasn't a Cullen. Besides I'd got all of their scents memorised from Sam. It was her youth that surprised me; I doubted she was older than me.
I'm coming up behind you now, Jared warned me. I rolled my eyes. I'm not that dumb, I can tell where the pack is and I heard his footfalls 30 seconds ago.
He came to stand behind me. Shall we do it or herd her back towards the Cullens and let them take care of it? he asked. I'm not bothered either way.
We can't do it; she's not on our land and she is not attacking anyone. She was still confusing me. Her behaviour wasn't anything like what I’d been led to expect.
Oh yeah, well while you were on cell phone duty, the rest of her posse was putting up a pretty good fight.
I know that, I put up a pretty good fight myself you know, I paused; I couldn't believe I was going to say this. I think she was running away. I think she’s scared. Look how young she is.
Jared scoffed mentally. She is what she is. She has to be dealt with. Their leader is on the res now, sorting out Jake. Before I could ask he continued. Jake's good, he's healing already. Cursed up a storm when we carried him home though.
It was a relief to know that Jake was going to be ok. What was Leah thinking? She could have gotten herself killed, I thought.
Speaking of Leah, she's going to have a fit if we don't check in soon. She knows I'm meeting up with you, but she doesn't know about the vamp. If she phases, all hell's gonna break loose.
He had a point. Go back to the res and get their leader. We'll let him sort her out.
I'm not leaving you here alone with her; Leah will have my ass in a sling, Jared protested.
I was alone with her before you got here. I huffed. Don't forget, I already took out one of these single-handedly today.
Almost single-handed, he corrected. Fine I'll go, but don't let your guard down. He took a last look at her, then turned to make his way back to the res.
I resumed my pacing. Eventually she lifted her head. Would she attack now?
“Is that it? Are you just going to keep me here till your buddies come to help you tear me to pieces?” she shouted at me. “Why wait? Does it have to be a group thing?” She sounded annoyed.
The scared little girl was gone and the monster was returning.
I wanted her to calm down so I shook my head no. This seemed to do the trick. She picked up a twig and began tracing patterns on the ground. I resumed my pacing.
Behind you now. I've got the leader and the fight trainer with me. Why did he do that? He must know I can hear them I can certainly smell them.
They came through the tree line; their eyes fixed on the girl. The leader spoke, “Thank you, Seth. We'll take it from here.
The girl had jumped up as she heard their approach and her body leaned forward. Her sudden movement startled me a little and I snarled at her instinctively.
The Cullens leader moved forward cautiously, holding up his hands, palms forward as he went. The fight trainer followed him. His posture was more threatening, almost leaning into a crouch.
“Hello,” the leader began. “My name is Carlisle Cullen and this is my son, Jasper. We mean you no harm.” The girl’s eyes darted between them; her body leaned forward even more, until her posture was almost mirroring the fight trainer.
“Can you tell us your name?” the leader continued.
The girl hesitated; I guess she was going to make something up. The response was so low I almost didn't hear it.
“Bree. Bree Tanner.”