Disclaimer: Twilight is the property of Stephanie Meyer, I do not claim ownership of the characters.

Chapter 1

HIGH IDEALS

My name is Edward Cullen, by creation I am the world's most dangerous predator, yet my life's ambition is to rid the world of a certain breed of predators. There is an incalculable difference between them and myself.

I have a conscience.

Choosing to go against my base instincts has not always been easy, but I have never regretted that decision. Determinedly, I am able to fulfill a distinct purpose and provide a valuable service. For walking among the unsuspecting human race, there truly are, 'wolves in sheep's clothing.' I have special talents that enable me to seek out these wolves; I can read their thoughts and those of everyone around me. Telepathy is one of many gifts I acquired at the time of my change from mortal to immortal, almost a century ago.

There are others like me, willing to avail their unique gifts for the betterment of society. I consider myself fortunate to be included in an organization where each individual is appreciated for our particular talents. A place safe from questions of exactly how we came to have our abilities, where our worth is measured only by how beneficial one is at stopping criminals from accomplishing their goals. Those absolute dregs of society that one hopes they will never come into contact with, psychopaths, whose only intent is to carry out mindless evil! Along with our allies, we aid in apprehending everything from rapists to serial killers, mobsters, and terrorists.

In order for everything to run smoothly and to gain cooperation from law enforcement, branches of the military and foreign governments, this entity deems it necessary to plant individuals who coordinate these undertakings. Without these undercover operations, the world would not be safe for any of us to live in. Behind the scenes and certainly never publicly recognized, our anonymity is essential. Joining the effort to help rid the world of at least some of its menaces, is reward enough. I like to think of it as leveling the playing field, making the hunters the hunted.

I am on the trail of a specific miscreant, having been privy to his thoughts and memories. He revealed to me his repulsive desire to re-enact the crime he'd recently committed, exposing the evidence needed to convict him of rape and murder. I continued to follow him as he entered, The ArcLight Cinema, where he feigned interest in the film, while languidly searching the crowd for his next victim. Blocking out every other voice around me, I waited.

Only a moment later, his eyes tracked a woman making her way towards the exit. His decision was made, and he followed her from the crowded theater. The young woman attempted to hail a taxi without success. I cursed to myself when I saw she was setting out to walk, playing straight into the abhorrent hands of the killer. His confidence sickened me, he was sure she would be worth the trouble she'd cause him. My reaction to his detestable imaginings was ... not on my watch!

Catching offenders after they have already committed a crime is an accomplishment, but it's even more rewarding when I stop them from repeating it. If I have any say in the matter, this sicko's games are about to end. I will not allow this crime to happen. This innocent woman's life will not end at the hand of this murderer.

I will intervene on her behalf.

The young woman didn't appear to notice that she was being followed. My first impression of her was, despite her petite frame, she possessed a physical bearing that commanded attention. Atop a long slender neck was a head full of dark hair, which framed her heart-shaped face. Her eyes were brown and her lips curved into a soft smile. As beautiful as she was, her appearance alone would not have been enough to cause the explosive reaction that occurred within me. What set her apart from any other human I had ever come across was her scent.

My senses are magnified many times that of a human, including super strength, speed beyond what the human eye can track, advanced eyesight and the capacity to hear sounds humans cannot. Vampires have the ability to track and identify prey, once a blood scent is detected, it is stored in their memory forever.

Drawn inextricably closer, for the first time ever my superior control was betraying me. Instead of zoning in on the devil who was bent on slaying, I was fixated on his intended victim. I felt powerless against my baser instincts, all I could think about was sinking my teeth into her, to answer the call of her sweet blood. Control developed over decades simply evaporated. In my immortal existence, I had never felt what I felt at that moment.

FEAR!

After all my years of abstaining, I feared I was beyond redemption. Would this fragile looking human be my downfall? I had survived for almost a century without shedding human blood, but that was before I'd heard the siren song of her blood calling out to me. It was too late; nothing could keep me off this lovely thing's trail.

I was under a spell. Unable to waver even though I would be breaking my own steadfast rule, never drink human blood!

Close behind, footsteps echoed off the sidewalk, overwhelming possessiveness urged me forward.

She's mine!

I wrapped myself around her and leaped to a nearby rooftop to a position where I could evaluate my surroundings. Landing in an abandoned alley, I held her back against my chest, unwilling for her to see the horror of what was about to take place. She smelled so unbelievably good I wanted to devour her, but her unexpected warmth seeped through to me, momentarily usurping thirst with intense physical desire. While my hand was over her mouth to keep her from screaming, she twisted and turned trying to loosen my hold, which only incensed me further. With my arm wedged between her breasts, it made me even more conscious of her soft curves.

What I wouldn't give to see this beauty without clothes!

I am shocked by my own lasciviousness, not normally prone to such thoughts. In retrospect, I was foolish not to acknowledge this woman was awakening long-buried human emotions in me ... emotions so foreign that I am thrown off guard.

While struggling to bring my concentration back to the present, I'd allowed her bucking to knock me against the brick wall behind me. She must have felt my hold lighten, for she doubled her efforts, exerting herself so much that she became almost too still. That's when it finally registered; I could not hear her thoughts.

Why couldn't I hear her thoughts?

Straightaway, my thirst became trumped by uneasiness. Never once had my gift failed me! How was she concealing her thoughts from me? Had I accidentally smothered her? Picturing her lovely features reposed in death, caused a wrenching pain in my chest. Relief flooded through me when I heard the blood rushing through her veins, as well as her pounding heart. Moments ticked by, incredibly the relentless need to taste her blood had been tempered, becoming almost bearable.

I looked down at her.

Her face was so close to mine and through her exquisite alabaster skin, delicate vessels were visible, busily carrying her life's blood to and from her heart.

How could I be this close and not succumb?

Ambivalence was not part of my makeup, yet I was torn. Blood-lust fought morality for control.

I want to thank a very special elementary teacher for taking me under her wing, she missed many of her own breaks to help me learn to read.

I was twelve when I started reading my older sister's romance novels, which I devoured. When she married and moved away, she didn't forget me. I felt like it was Christmas every time she came home to visit, she brought large paper bags full of books for me. She's my number one fan. Thanks, Gwen!

When I lacked the confidence to allow anyone to read my writing, my daughter, Laurel, and my younger sister, Michele, kept encouraging me to put it out there.

Now I'm finally here; but I have to give credit where credit is due, without Frannie Walsh to beta for me, I would not have made the leap. Thank you, Fran for helping me, I really needed it.

I also want to thank May T. Brown for making the banner. I've never known people like those in Twilight Fanfiction, they've been so kind and helpful. Kim Roland-Edwards, kindly accepted me into Who's Who In The Twilight Fandom, where I've met several writers and I'm enjoying every second. Thank you all for the encouragement!