Author: SassyK PM
Twelve months is nothing when you've spent decades walking the earth, existing, searching; twelve months is everything when your search has come to an end. One year in the life of a gentle soul and the woman who recasts his world.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 14 - Words: 41,183 - Reviews: 713 - Favs: 576 - Follows: 664 - Updated: 07-31-12 - Published: 01-16-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6660624
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Twilight and its characters are owned by Stephenie Meyer.
Snow, blanketing the ground. Ice, encasing bare branches. Frozen lake, a blinding expanse, despite the lack of sun.
Frozen, like my heart.
Whisper-quiet and clean, bitter cold air.
Nothing to interfere with the sounds and scents of nature. A perfect day, really.
Closing my eyes, I lift my face to the sky, breathing in my surroundings, listening to my world.
Familiar scents and well-known sounds greet my senses. Comforting, reassuring.
Cocking my head to the right, I decide to follow the deer. Three, maybe four of them. The new-fallen snow will make them especially easy to track.
Driven by need and uncivilized desire, I begin my trek through the woods, seeking sustenance.
When it's cold outside, I need to eat more often; the animals' blood tastes different, diluted. In the warmer months, their blood is richer, more filling. Heavy, like the summer air. I've sometimes gone more than a week without feeding, kept strong by one single kill. In the winter, if I go more than a few days without hunting, the cravings and hallucinations begin.
It doesn't take long to find them. They're beside a small stream, seeking out the icy cold water. Oblivious to my presence—at least for the moment.
Three adults and one older fawn. I watch them as they drink, wistful for a time when water satisfied me.
We all thirst—just in different ways.
Seconds later, we're on the run. The fawn is desperately trying to keep up with the others, but stumbles. I could easily take it, but sprint past. I don't like killing the young. I want them to have the chance that was never afforded me—the chance to live.
The chase is exhilarating—running, dodging, trying to predict my prey's moves. The anticipation of what's to come fuels my body, makes me feel invincible.
My parched throat burns even more as I run. It spurs me on, forces me to go faster. I need blood. I need it now.
The thought sickens me. Yet I press on, a slave to my thirst.
It's not long until I catch her. She struggles, but I'm strong and skilled at submission.
I avoid looking into her eyes.
Even though I've had a hard time believing in God since my change, I still ask for His forgiveness before I sink my teeth into the deer's neck.
I ask the deer for her forgiveness as well.
Blood slides down my throat, hot, tangy. The taste is slightly disagreeable, but I gulp greedily, eager for my thirst to be quenched.
When the poor beast is finally drained, I stumble back and fall to the ground, equally sated and disgusted. Always at war. Good versus evil.
Why me, God, why me?
It's a question I ask every single time.
It's a question that's haunted me for many years.
It's a question I never expect to be answered.
The nights are barely tolerable. Long, oppressive, suffocating.
I prefer to hunt during the day, so I spend most evenings at home, reading, writing, painting.
Thinking of things that could have been—should have been.
Sometimes, bitterness wraps me in its dark shroud, and I sit, still as a stone, allowing rage, hatred, and unhappiness to wash through me. I sit, alone and lonely, and wait for daylight to come.
The morning breaks clear and bright. The sun is still low, but filters brilliantly through the bare branches, inspiring me to paint. Retrieving my supplies, I notice I'm running low on oils.
A trip to town is in order—an unpleasant necessity. The thought of being around so many living people is both thrilling and terrifying. I avoid them as much as possible and they avoid me. My eccentric reputation keeps them at bay, which is to their good fortune.
I may be restrained in my feeding practices, but not infallible.
Fiery oranges, deep purples, and vibrant yellows streak across my canvas. Dark browns and pure whites fill in. Stepping back, I survey my work. It has promise. Perhaps I'll be able to trade it for more supplies.
I don't know what I would do if I couldn't paint. It's a carryover from my human years. I found comfort in it then; now it stops me from going completely mad.
Tucking a few of my completed paintings under my arm, I begin the journey into civilization. I fed yesterday, so I feel comfortable enough to do so.
Still, the barrage of scents and sounds will be difficult to ignore. I need time to prepare myself for the assault, and the walk will do just that.
I'm so lost in my thoughts that I almost miss it—the presence of another.
Guard up, I approach a copse of trees and take cover.
I see her.
She's standing next to the same stream where I spotted the deer yesterday. Perfectly still, gazing down, seemingly mesmerized by the bubbling and gurgling water. Her hair is dark, some of it swept to the top of her head, the rest cascading down her back in curling tendrils, a shocking contrast to the white fur cape that cloaks her.
She must be a hallucination, conjured up by my imagination.
A dream; a pagan princess, dark and lovely. A fervent wish, born of my lonely existence.
She moves and I blink my eyes. Squeeze them shut, count to five and open them again.
She's still there.
Bending down, she scoops a bit of water into her cupped hands and drinks. She repeats this a few times before standing and wiping her hands on her cape.
I'm frozen in place, rendered senseless by the sight of this exquisite creature.
Until I smell her.
Venom flows. Bloodlust awakens, savage and feral. I see, smell, and practically taste her blood. Imagine how desirable it would look, running down her neck, spilling onto her virgin white cape…
It's only with great restraint that I'm able to remain where I am, hidden amongst the trees. Never before have I experienced such a feeling; I'm shaking with want.
Reaching down, she retrieves her hat and carpet bag and turns back toward the woodland path that will lead her into town.
I don't know how or what force led her to my world; I only know I don't want her to leave.