"Edward! He's catching up!" I shouted. I glanced over my shoulder again before gasping and squeezing my eyes shut. My breath was short and ragged, and my face was tear-streaked. I burrowed my face into Edward's hard, cold shoulder from where I clung to his back.
The man running behind us was getting closer with every step. His long brown hair flew out in waved behind him. His name is James. James is a vampire.
Edward is a vampire too, but I can trust him. Edward would never hurt me, he is my best friend.
I can't remember how James found us, how long we were running, or what happened after my memory faded until I woke up at the Cullens' house.
James shouted and bolted forward. He suddenly appeared ahead of us, and pushed Edward back with such force, we flew back about 100 feet, and crashed into a tree; and because I was on Edward's back, I took the full force of the blow. Me, a fragile human.
I heard my head crack, and I screamed. Something warm and wet soaked my hair, and dripped down my neck.
That's all I remember of my human life, fifty years ago.
I could have used the defence I have now. Yes, the rock hard skin of a vampire came in handy.
* * * *
"Ashton!" called Emmett.
"Don't call me that," I murmured, sitting down beside Jasper, and letting my tray fall onto the table with a clatter that caused a few heads to turn in our direction. You'd think after 50 years, he'd sttop calling me by my first name, which I hated.
"Late much?" Rosalie asked, holding up a hand to inspect her perfect, pink nails.
'Conceited much?' I wanted to shoot back, but I bit my tongue. "Blame Newton," I ended up saying. "Mouthed off, so the teacher kept us all behind with a lecture."
"Lecture? About what?" Emmett asked.
"Blurting," I sighed.
"Number thirteen. Harsh," he sighed, pretending to care.
"Yeah, like you haven't memorized that one already. How many times have you heard that speech?" I snapped.
Emmett tried to kick me from under the table, but missed and hit Jasper - who growled - instead.
"Nice aim, Em. Where's Edward?" I asked.
"With Bella," said Jasper.
"Go figure," I sighed. "What's the news forecast Alice?"
"Edward is gonna bring Bella home to meet us!" she squealed. Uh oh, she was in 'pixie mode': big smile, bouncing in her seat, high-pitched voice, speaking too loud.
"Alice, you're starting to give me whiplash," I smirked.
She stuck out her bottom lip and furrowed her brow in a mock-pout.
I rolled by eyes, and picked up a grape from my tray and started twidling it between my fingers.
"Come on Ash! You've gotta be excited!" she moaned.
Ash: much better than 'Ashton'. "I am," I said cooly. "I just don't vibrate."
Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw Emmett copying Alice's pout. Disgusted by his imitation, I threw my grape at him.
He caught it and threw it back at me, but I ducked.
I quickly spun around to see who was the grape's accidental victim. I pursed my lips at the sight of Mike Newton brushing the grape out of his spikey, blond hair, spinning his head wildly in search of the culprit.
Right now, there couldn't be a better culprit.