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"Edward, if you could just-"

"No, Carlisle. I appreciate what you are trying to do here… but I don't see the need to abstain any longer. I need to go. Thank you for everything you have given me. Esme, you as well." I told them. I had to go. I couldn't continue living like this. I was a monster. I was supposed to do this. I had, of course, given this a lot of thought, justified it for myself.

"Edward, dear. Please. Please, do not do this." Esme looked at me in despair. I tried not to focus into her thoughts, but they seemed to come despite my efforts.

Edward. Rethink this. Carlisle means well. He wants what's best for you. You're our son Edward. Please, please, stay. We can work this out. We can….

I struggled to block her out. This was what I had to do. I knew Carlisle's

intentions were pure. That's why it had taken me so long to betray him like this. How inconvenient my little talent could be at times. Sometimes it's better not to know what people are thinking.

"Edward. Please, stay. You know my vision. You know it is possible to live like this. You have been doing it! Don't do something you will regret."

"Carlisle, I truly do appreciate everything you and Esme have done for me. You've treated me like your own son, and I am forever in your debt. I love you both, but I need to do this. It's what I want Carlisle."

"Very well," Carlisle sighed, "goodbye Edward."

"Goodbye." I said quietly, and made my way out of the house. I got into my car and drove off, leaving it all behind. I took a deep breath. This was right. I wasn't about to go off and kill a bunch of innocent people. As often as my talent could be inconvenient, it was also quite useful at times.

I continued driving, feeling my stomach twist in cold knots all the way there. I had been with Carlisle since the beginning of this… life, if you could call it that. I'd put on many facades, blended in with everyone. I had gone on enough. I was a monster. I knew I was. It must give me some right to act like one? And was I really so horrible if I saved lives too? Would it really be so bad to kill a man who raped dozens of young girls? Would I really feel guilty about taking sustenance from a serial killer?

I was a cold, dead, heartless vampire. It's who I am. My being. I couldn't simply be expected to deny the thirst. To put it bluntly, it wasn't fair. The thirst that constantly nagged at my being, pulling at my edges. Vampires drink human blood. It's the way it is. Nobody could change that.

But then again, it is Carlisle. I have a high respect for him, his perfect record. Not only being able to abstain from blood, but to put himself purposefully in situations where he knows there will be strong temptation.

Eventually, I parked the car in a side street. I knew nobody would suspect anything, and I could probably leave the car there for a day or two without raising any questions.

I was in a remote place, in the back roads. Rebelling against Carlisle was a big decision. I again convinced myself that it was the right thing to do. Carlisle had a nice idea, but why let my talent go to waste? If I hadn't known Carlisle better, I probably would have offered for him to come along. I knew he would be absolutely repulsed and offended by the very idea.

Although I knew there were not many humans within a five-mile radius, I could still smell blood, feel that familiar burning in my throat. I craved it. I wanted it. I needed the blood. And I needed it fast.

I ran behind buildings now, so fast that even if a human did see me, they would just shrug it off as their imaginations. I caught my reflection in an empty warehouse window. I saw a monster. My eyes were black, my face full of concentration. I was the predator, they were my prey. I pushed myself to run even faster. I ran until I made it into the city, listening carefully to humans who passed by.

Oh, I do hope my dear Robbie is alright. He's so young… The sitter sounded quite flustered on the telephone…

That wouldn't do. I growled lowly in frustration, and tried once again.

So once I get home, I'll need to take care of the cleaning. Then I'll have to make dinner and…

There must be some unfriendly people in a city like this. I glanced at the sky, it was still heavily clouded over. There was no hope of sunshine for a while. I made my way subtly to the street, looking for a suspicious character.


Maybe this would be harder than I'd initially thought.

I sat in a dark alleyway for hours, listening to the thoughts of everyone passing by. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I managed to hook onto a man.

Hmm… She looks like she is heading east. She's a pretty little thing… I wonder…

His thoughts seemed to get even more vulgar as he progressed. I walked casually out of the alleyway. My simple attire was enough not to attract too much attention, and I kept my eyes on my prey.

Look at that. She doesn't suspect a thing. I'll bet she thinks she's just going home to mommy. She'll never see her mommy again. She'll never get to see her little friend she was talking to at school again… Oh, it's been so long…

The fury inside me grew. He wanted to hurt this innocent young lady. And for what? For personal pleasure? He got pleasure out of other people's pain? Then again, how was I any better? I was off hunting humans, against my morals. I was a monster… I was…

My thoughts continued to flow, my morals were eating at me. Yet, I continued. I tried my best not to think of Carlisle, and how disappointed he would be in me. In the monster I'd become.

I growled low, and continued to follow him inconspicuously, listening to his thoughts only when necessary.

Was I really so much of a monster if I took this man's life? This man, who was looking to murder a young girl. This man, who took pleasure from other people's pain?

Of course not. I was saving lives. This young girl would go home safely tonight. She would go home to her mother and her father. She would grow up nice, and marry a gentleman, perhaps a soldier. She would have children, and one day, she would die of a natural cause. This young girl did not deserve to die. She deserved everything a normal human should have. To live, to love.

Knowing this, I was able to continue to follow the man. This young girl seemed to catch on as he continued following her.

What do you do in this situation again? I cannot go home… I don't want him to follow me into the back streets… Where else can I go? Oh, he's probably not following me even. April said it herself this morning. I am way too paranoid. Oh, but what if he does try to harm me? What ever will I do then?

Her thoughts became panicked as the man's thoughts became even more graphic and vivid. I cringed.

The young girl decided she was being silly, and turned into a dark alleyway. I began plotting my attack. The man was stalling… trying to take her by surprise. I fell into the shadows of the alley, following the young girl. She had no idea I was there, but her pace quickened as the sky darkened. The man walked right by me quietly. The young girl gasped when she saw him, and ducked into another alley. An alley with a dead end. What a stupid, stupid girl.

She seemed to realise her mistake only when she reached the end of the alley. I stood at the corner. The man approached her, grinning with his pointy, white teeth.

So close. So soon. I'm almost there. Just a few more steps.

The young girl shut her eyes. She knew what was coming to her. I stopped and looked at her frightened figure for a second. Her long blonde hair was pulled up in a loose bun, and her skin was milky white and pure. She had full pink lips, and high cheekbones. I supposed, if I were human, I would find her exceptionally attractive. She was a pretty young girl. She bit down on her lip, and I knew it was time to act.

"Excuse me?" I said coolly. The young girl's bright blue eyes opened up wide at my voice.

"Who the hell are you?" The man said gruffly.

"It doesn't matter who I am." I said in the same detached voice. "What I care about is this situation." I took a threatening step towards him.

"W-w-w-what?" He stammered. I had a good three inches on him, and I looked down at him, burning him with my eyes.

Great. Just… great. What luck. I finally get a chance like this… and some freak shows up… What a strange looking man. He looks so young. I could take him.

"What are you doing?" I asked him.

"N-n-nothing. Walking. Walking home." He stuttered.

"Yes. I'm sure that's what you are doing, exactly." I said. I took another step towards him, he retracted. That's when I lunged.

I sunk my razor-sharp teeth into his soft neck. I heard his cry of pain, but it wasn't his scream that made me feel sickened. It was the young girl's scream of terror, of fear. I struck me that she would think she was next. My entire being ached to comfort her, I felt the guilt and the shame take over me. But it was all worth this. The blood. The warm, sweet, sticky blood. What had I been missing? Why didn't I ever do this before? I felt the difference in strength almost immediately, and I sucked harder, letting it fill my mouth. He was getting weaker, and I could feel his weight dropping. I sucked him dry, and then turned towards the girl, who was staring at me wide eyed.

It broke my non-beating heart to see her look. I was ashamed, I even wanted to take her life. I thought again of what I had before. She has a full life ahead of her. She deserves a chance to live. She needs her chance.

I walked towards her, and she whimpered, and slid down to sit on the cold asphalt.

"I'm not going to hurt you," I told her coolly. "But you mustn't ever speak of what happened here, do you understand?" I told her.

She nodded, fervently.

"Good. Please, try to be more careful when you are walking home," I told her, "you were lucky this time."

"Yes," she squeaked, "thank you," she said weakly, looking at her feet.

I ran away then, all the way back to my car.

I am doing nothing wrong. The young girl was safe. I killed a killer. I can justify my decision.

I climbed into my car, and drove away silently, trying to distract myself the entire time.