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Edward's rebellious years.

Avenging Angel

by silly bella

I was born for this. Well, maybe not born – but created for this. I walked along the cold sidewalk watching the wretched people hurry through the shadows. Hunting. Really hunting. Feeling the rage and power that filled me. My senses reached out, my eyes taking in the dark street like it was daylight. I could smell the each person that passed, detect the essence of their blood.

Most of all, I could hear them; hear their blood pounding through their veins, hear their breath pumping in and out of their lungs, and even hear their thoughts. I knew their greatest fears, weakest moments, anything that passed through their minds. This one agonized over a fight with his lady-friend. That one wondered how to feed his family on his meager wage. Another wondered how long he could hide his liaisons with another woman from his wife. But sooner or later, I would find one who reeked of evil. One who no longer deserved to walk this earth, and I would know him. I would feed.

A drunk passed me. He stank. I'm sure his blood was foul. But he wasn't what I sought, even if he'd been sober. His mind seemed mostly blank, but not wicked or malicious. He was just a poor drunk. I hoped he had a warm destination.

Two young boys ran down the street dodging among the crowd. They were late. Brothers. Ma's going to skin us alive. Innocents. I wondered if they had dinner waiting for them or if they would go to bed with empty stomachs tonight.

On the corner, a prostitute eyed me. Looks like he has some money. He's a looker. Maybe a virgin. They're always so enthusiastic. I heard her thoughts.

"Need some help with anything?" she called. "A young man like you needs a good education."

I kept walking. She wasn't my prey. She might not be a model of propriety, but she wasn't hurting anyone. God alone knows what drove her to such a life. I only hoped she wouldn't run into any of the monsters I sought, for they would hurt her far more than I ever dreamed.

Too many people here on the street, anyway. I needed to find somewhere a little more isolated. I turned down the next alley and followed it until the flow of thoughts began to trickle. Then I listened, really listened. And finally, I heard it. A muffled scream.

No. Please. This can't be happening. Her thoughts screamed, even if her voice was silenced. I heard her sheer terror as two men dragged her into the alley. And then the men, imagining what they could do to her. How they would use her body and leave her broken, perhaps dying. Animals masquerading as humans. I ran towards them. She uttered a brief prayer for safety. God might not help her, but I could.

When I reached them, I found one man holding her against the wall, threatening to kill her if she tried to scream. He had a knife, its point pressed against her neck. The other man had lifted her skirt and was unbuttoning his pants as he pushed against her.

My targets. Predators turned prey. Humans, but monsters, just the same.

They had no warning. I grabbed them both at the same time. I slammed the one with a knife against the wall and yanked the other one off her. The first one sank to the street, unconscious. The other one glared at me. "No need to be violent," he whined. "We can share."

She sobbed. Not another one. They can't do this here on the street, not even in an alley. She held on to the wall to keep from falling into the rubble at her feet. Please, not all three of them. She glanced behind her, her eyes resting briefly on me before she closed her eyes. This one even looks like he's from a good family. He could buy a prostitute to do anything he wanted. Why would he want me?

She believes I'm like them? The thought made my anger rise.

I turned back to the man before me. "You think I want to share with you?" His eyes grew large as he realized I didn't want the woman. That I just wanted to stop him. He stared at his friend, hope slipping from his eyes.

She gasped, crying, afraid to move. At least he's just one. He won't share me with the others. Terror still filled her mind. She truly thought I was like them. She turned to me, a silent plea on her face.

I looked into her eyes. "Run. Go." She seemed shocked for a moment, her mind empty of anything but fear. "Run," I screamed. I couldn't wait much longer to feed. The unconscious man bled where his head had hit the wall. The bloodlust raged. "Run. DO you hear me? Run away as fast as you can."

She stared, unbelieving. He's letting me go? He came for them? Her tears flowed anew. She looked at me more closely. He's so pale he glows, even in this darkness. He's an angel. God answered my prayer. He sent an angel to protect me. "Thank you. Thank you, sir," she breathed before she stumbled away.

The man struggled futilely in my arms. His eyes grew large as I bared his neck to bite. I tasted the adrenaline in his blood. It flowed through my body, creating a rush. This was better than a grizzly. Better than a buffalo. Better than a mountain lion. Much more satisfying. I drained the first one, enjoying the vigor in his blood, and moved on to the second. He was still alive, but dwindling. I made quick work of him, opening his shirt and biting him on the chest, near his heart. The warm blood pumped into my mouth. My strength surged to a peak I'd never reached before. Pure power.

I knew I needed to dispose of the bodies. I could climb up and carry them across the rooftops. I had to make sure they were dead before I left them in the river. Creatures such as these were monsters enough as humans. I gathered them in my arms and thought again of the woman, their prey. If she could see me now, would she see and angel sent from God? Or would she see a fiend from hell, worse than anything she ever imagined?