A sound at the edge of the field drew my eyes over. Finally, I thought.
We spread out into a line, Emmett and I moving forward, using our size to intimidate the wolves a little.
"Damn, did you ever see anything like it?" Emmett muttered.
I silently shared his awe. The wolves certainly looked impressive. There couldn't have been a pack this big for centuries. I scanned the bodies emerging from the forest. The smaller ones near the back must have been fairly young. How old did they have to be before they could transform, I wondered?
"What is it?" Bella whispered, and Edward explained.
Carlisle stepped forward to welcome them, and I couldn't help but feel glad it wasn't me doing that. Despite being able to fight them, and probably win, there was something about the way those prominent sharp teeth glittered when they moved that made me cautious. I wouldn't want to be facing the whole pack unprepared.
Edward translated the words of the pack, and told us they would watch and listen. We were ready to start. I knew I was tense, and tried to relax my muscles so I could do this properly. Just pretend the wolves aren't there, I told myself. It's not as though you haven't done this before. I tried my best to suppress those memories, but they kept coming back at the moment. I focused solely on what I was about to do, how I could help my family. I blocked out the words of Carlisle and the wolves until it was my turn to talk.
I stepped forward, and paused to consider the now lying wolves for a second.
Are they safe? I asked Edward silently, and saw his nod. Sighing, I turned my back on them.
"Carlisle's right, they'll fight like children," I began. "The two most important things you'll need to remember are, first, don't let them get their arms around you and, second, don't go for the obvious kill. That's all they'll be prepared for. As long as you come at them from the side and keep moving, they'll be too confused to respond effectively. Emmett?"
Emmett smiled as he stepped forward, and I moved back to put some space between us. I explained to the others that I wanted Emmett to go first because he fought more like a newborn than the rest of us.
Emmett narrowed his eyes at me and muttered "I'll try not to break anything."
I grinned. "What I meant is that Emmett relies on his strength," I added, and encouraged him to go for the easy kill. I backed away a little further, and tensed my legs ready to move.
"Okay, Emmett – try to catch me."
I stepped left and ducked under Emmett sweeping arm, sliding away and then stepping closer to try and catch him. As we weaved back and forth, moving together and apart, I remembered the thousands of fights like this with newborn vampires when I was in Maria's coven. I replaced these memories with those of other fights with Emmett, and the style he used. I knew what I was doing.
I felt his growing irritation as he failed to catch me. Then I saw an opening, and pounced, pulling him in to me, with my teeth at his throat.
"Damn it!" Emmett growled, and I heard the wolves rumble as I stepped back.
Emmett had stopped smiling. He hated being beaten. "Again," he demanded.
"It's my turn," Edward protested, eager to try. I felt the sudden flash of worry from Bella that followed his words. Time to do something about that.
"In a minute," I said, grinning. "I want to show Bella something first."
Her anxiety continued as I waved Alice over.
"I know you worry about her. I want to show you why that's not necessary."
I almost laughed at the worry pouring off Bella as Alice danced towards me. She would enjoy this. Alice looked beautiful when she fought.
I shifted my weight forward to move, then slunk sideways, watching my wife close her eyes to see.
I stalked forward, playing the predator. Then I lunged, and the second I leapt, Alice stepped forward, and I came to my feet on her other side. I spun round and jumped again, and again I landed crouched on the ground.
Alice stood smiling, her eyes closed as she tried to spot my next move. I stepped forward, reaching out to grab her, and she slipped away an instant before my hands closed around her.
I began drawing closer to her, making my attacks more focused and less showy. Alice began moving faster, stepping, ducking and weaving to avoid me. We spun and crouched and rose as we danced, making the deadly dance a beautiful game. I danced just as much, turning to try and intercept her as soon as she moved away from me.
Then I pulled out my final move. I would slide forward and let her catch me. She laughed, seeing my decision, and in that split second, I stepped and she jumped on me.
I felt her soft lips at my neck, pulling up pleasant feelings in both of us.
"Gotcha," she whispered, kissing me.
I laughed, pulling her round to face me. "You truly are one frightening little monster," I said, letting her slip to the ground. She grinned at me and moved off to the others. My beautiful Alice.
She pulled me out of the darkness all those years ago, and now she lit up my life still, her very presence a joy to me. Hopefully, with these fights with the newborns, she would not need to rescue me again. I would not fall back into those memories. Alice was here for me.
Dances like this showed how we could turn something deadly into something wonderful. We made something terrifying a show of our love. We made it a bond.
I smiled as I turned to Edward.
I had Alice. That was what was important. Though we prepared to fight, I had Alice.
I had Alice.