Hello! I'm going on a church retreat thingymabob this weekend, so I'll try and squeeze in another update before I leave. I'm just kinda busy because I have to write a fully illustrated children's book by Monday for school, and I'm still not done… yay procrastination! Anyway, sorry about my ramblings and on with Sacrifice!

Chapter 12

EPV

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"Let's go hunting," I said. She looked scared. "Don't worry, I'll teach you how," I chuckled. She smiled and stood up, wobbling slightly. She shook her head briefly and grabbed my hand. We walked out the door and into the hallway. We walked around, looking for an exit. I tensed when I smelt fresh blood. Venom pooled in my mouth and I swallowed it quickly. I looked down at Bella and she didn't seem to be affected. At all.

"You don't smell that?" I asked curiously.

"Smell what?" I was flabbergasted. She's immune to the smell of human blood.

………………………………………..

I gazed at her disbelievingly. "The smell of human blood is overwhelming out here. The Volturi must be feeding on at least one hundred humans right now, if not more."

She shrugged but looked slightly revolted. "Umm… I don't smell anything. And that is gross."

I smiled. "Let's get going… we should find out more later. But don't tell the Volturi about this. It could be a very desirable, extensive power to have… I have no clue what they'll do if you're more powerful than one of them."

Bella shuddered. "I don't want to know. Let's go hunting… I want to know what my favorite animal is!" She said excitedly.

I grabbed her now strong hand and we continued our search for a way outside. I saw daylight streaming onto the floor somewhere up ahead, so I figured we must have been getting close. My hunch was correct, and we were soon gazing upon a vast expanse of forest spread across a deep valley. Bella gasped beside me. I smiled at her and without further prompting she took off for the forest. Her clumsiness seemed to have disappeared, but she was still fairly slow. I teased her about it for a moment, but she only growled and tried to run faster. It didn't really work, but I was shocked.

"Did you just growl at me?" I chuckled.

"As a matter of fact, I did, Mr. Cullen. What are you going to do about it?" Just then, we reached the forest edge.

"This." I swept her into my arms and explained how to sneak up on animals and the most efficient, low-guilt methods of killing them. She nodded her head obediently and jumped out of my arms. She grinned hugely and began tiptoeing into the forest. I followed close behind. She quickly stopped, gazing at something I couldn't see. I peeked over her shoulder, and there was a huge bear, much bigger than the ones back in Washington. I crept ahead of her and leapt quickly out of the foliage, landing on the bear's back. Bella watched and gasped as I slammed its nose up into its brain. (I don't know if this works on animals, I learned it in a self-defense class… lol) The bear collapsed and I stuck my teeth rapidly into the bear's neck and drank. There was a lot of blood, so I was satisfied with hunting after my first kill. I turned toward Bella and she looked queasy. I rushed over.

"What's wrong? Is it the smell?" She shook her head.

"It'll just take some getting used to killing animals… you did really well, though." I nodded in thanks.

"You can start out on smaller animals: deer, squirrels, badgers… and anyway, I'm full now so I can help you hunt." She looked slightly relieved. I grabbed her hand.

As we walked silently through the forest, she whispered, "I couldn't smell that blood either… I was so preoccupied about killing animals, I didn't notice." I thought for a moment, and spoke carefully.

"Maybe your power is… resistance. You can resist whatever you don't want or dislike. You seem to still be immune to my powers, so maybe you are to everyone else's as well. Try and focus on letting me read your mind." She closed her eyes tightly and screwed up her face in concentration. Her thoughts came pouring into my mind in a maelstrom.

Will this work? I hope it does, it'll be nice to let Edward in on what I'm thinking sometimes… I smiled triumphantly and looked down at her.

"It worked!" I said joyfully. She opened her eyes and beamed.

"I think we've got your power! Resistance!" I said happily.

"Now, I'm ready to hunt. At least I don't have to smell the blood!" She said, grabbing my hand and leading me deeper into the forest. We soon stumbled upon a fox eating a squirrel. Bella tensed and prepared to jump. She dove, almost dog-like, onto the fox and shoved its nose up into its skull before it could even howl out. She looked hesitantly at the dead fox, then back at me. I nodded my head and smiled in encouragement. She knelt down and gingerly sunk her teeth into the fox's fleshy neck. She drank for a moment, then stood up and wiped her mouth.

"I couldn't taste it, but it felt wonderful going down my throat," she said. I smiled.

"Full?" She nodded.

"Let's head back. I'm sure they're waiting for us." I didn't even need to specify who 'they' were. Bella nodded and slipped her hand into mine as we trudged away from the forest, toward the setting sun.

BPV

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I grabbed Edward's hand and we strolled out the door into the hallway. I noticed that all the walls seemed to be stone, even thought the room we were just in had plaster walls. I felt Edward seize up next to me. I whipped my head up toward his face. His eyes were black and his nostrils were flared. He's hungry.

"You don't smell that?" he asked, looking curious. I sniffed the air, but didn't catch a whiff of anything unusual.

"Smell what?" I asked, just as curious as him. His eyes widened and he just stood there, staring at me. Is there something on my face?

……………………..

Edward continued staring until he slowly opened his mouth to speak.

"The smell of human blood is overwhelming out here. The Volturi must be feeding on at least one hundred humans right now, if not more." Ew. That's really weird, though. I don't smell a thing.

I answered confusedly, "Umm… I don't smell anything. And that is gross."

Edward grinned and answered more comfortably, "Let's get going… we should find out more later. But don't tell the Volturi about this. It could be a very desirable, extensive power to have… I have no clue what they'll do if you're more powerful than one of them." An image of Victoria convulsing on the floor popped into my head, and I shivered involuntarily. I wanted to change the subject… and fast.

"I don't want to know. Let's go hunting… I want to know what my favorite animal is!" Edward obliged by grabbing my hand and continuing down the hallway. Edward led us toward a door that had a small window mounted in it. We opened the door, and the view was amazing. A huge valley stretched out below us, with a twinkling ocean visible in the distance. The valley was thickly covered in tall, ancient trees. I gasped and took off toward the forest. Edward began teasing me about how slow I was, and I let out a throaty, low-pitched growl. I sped forward as fast as I could and checked to see if I was beating Edward. His face held a look of pure shock. Was I really running that much faster?

My dreams were crushed when Edward asked, "Did you just growl at me?" and chuckled.

I answered promptly, "As a matter of fact, I did, Mr. Cullen. What are you going to do about it?"

As we reached the forest edge, he scooped me up and laughed, "This." We sat down on a fallen log and he explained how to hunt. I'm apparently supposed to sneak up quietly, then pounce. To kill the animal, I should shove its nose upward into its brain. It was apparently the most humane way to kill an animal, because they died instantly. I nodded and stood up off Edward's lap. I began creeping forward into the underbrush when I stumbled upon the biggest bear I had ever seen. Edward stepped in front of me and leapt, cat-like, onto the bear's back. He quickly used the nose-shoving technique, which was quite disturbing to watch, I may add, and the bear collapsed to the forest floor. He stuck his razor-sharp teeth into the bear's neck and drank eagerly. He stood up, brushed off his pants, and came rushing over.

I obviously had a disgusted look on my face, because he said, "What's wrong? Is it the smell?"

I shook my head and replied, "It'll just take some getting used to killing animals… you did really well, though."

He nodded and said comfortingly, "You can start out on smaller animals: deer, squirrels, badgers… and anyway, I'm full now so I can help you hunt." I breathed a mental sigh of relief and he took hold of my hand, pulling me farther into the forest. I thought about his question. It certainly wasn't the blood, I didn't even smell the blood! I told him this, and he thought for a moment before answering.

"Maybe your power is… resistance. You can resist whatever you don't want or dislike. You seem to still be immune to my powers, so maybe you are to everyone else's as well. Try and focus on letting me read your mind." I closed my eyes and concentrated as hard as I could on breaking down stone walls around my mind and letting Edward walk through. Will this work? I hope it does, it'll be nice to let Edward in on what I'm thinking sometimes…

I was interrupted by Edward's excited shriek of, "It worked!" I smiled hugely and he beamed down at me.

"I think we've got your power! Resistance!" he said excitedly. I was happy, but my stomach was empty and my dry throat was beginning to burn.

"Now, I'm ready to hunt. At least I don't have to smell the blood!" I said hurriedly, grabbing his hand. We walked carefully deeper into the forest. It wasn't long before we found a fox eating some kind of rodent… perhaps a squirrel? I felt my muscles tense and I sprang forward, landing on the fox's back. I closed my eyes and braced myself for a sickening crunch as I broke its nose. The fox fell to the ground, its eyes blank. I looked up at Edward. He nodded and smiled, so I kneeled down and gently sunk my teeth into the fox's neck. The blood was tasteless, but it felt like heaven going down my throat and pooling in my stomach. Satisfied, I stepped away from the fox and wiped my mouth.

I looked at Edward's expectant face and said, "I couldn't taste it, but it felt wonderful going down my throat."

He smiled crookedly, making me pause to catch my breath, and said, "Let's head back. I'm sure they're waiting for us." I knew who 'they' were, finally. We started back to the castle, our hands locked together.

Ok… so what did you think? This is my longest chapter yet… 4 ½ pages on word! I can't promise they'll all be this long, but it was fun writing this one even though it was fluffless… -tear-… anyway, I really appreciate your reviews, everybody! Thank you so much for the words of encouragement!

Maggie