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Here it is, Chapter 8. Thanks everyone! ;)
Days had passed and they were still here.
Edward and I were able to momentarily escape on our own. We both laid together sparkling under the sun on our slope. I laid against his chest as he hummed under the sun's brilliant shine.
I loved moments like these. When we could be alone together and have a brief period in time when we didn't have to worry about anything.
The feeling of the sun's rays was very peculiar. It was a slight tingling under my skin that seemed to cause me to light up like a Christmas tree. I thought it was funny, and I kept examining my own skin in awe.
After a while, Edward sighed.
"What?" I asked.
"Maria is looking for you. She wants to ask you something."
"Ugh. What does she want to ask me?"
Edward tilted his head, "I don't know. They have been extraordinarily selective of their thoughts. It's quite impressive, actually."
"Impressive," I scoffed, "They're hiding something."
"She's looking for you, we should see what she wants," he started to get up when I put my hand on his chest and stopped him.
"Stay. I'll go and be right back. You can time me if you want. I think I'm getting faster," I grinned, "Don't move. I want this scene to be the same when I get back."
I lightly kissed him on the nose. He looked at me intensely.
"I'm not going to start anything!" I said under his piercing gaze, "I promise."
"Hurry back, love" and he sprawled out under the sun, looking frozen in place. I smiled. I knew he wasn't going anywhere.
Two minutes later and I was at the house. I searched for Maria's unique scent. She was behind the house, standing on the edge of the lake.
"What is it?" I asked sharply. She was standing on the icy shore, looking a little uncertain. She turned at the sound of my voice.
"Hm? Oh, Bella!" she gave a toothy smile, "I was looking for you, but I guess you would already know that, huh?"
"Well what is it? What did you want to ask me?"
She paused for a moment and turned back towards the lake, "Isn't the lake beautiful? Slightly frozen around the edges and crystal clear in the center. Absolutely breathtaking. You don't get scenes like this anywhere else..."
"That is what you made me come here for?"
"Well no, not really. I just thought we should take the time to appreciate nature's beauty. We should not allow immortality take away the simple pleasures that this world has to offer. Am I right?"
"Um, well, sure, I guess."
She nodded seriously, "You would be surprised to learn how many of our kind just simply lose all appreciation for the art this world may contain. It's absolutely depressing. What left is there when life no longer seems beautiful? Or when it no longer seems to have any meaning worth while?"
"You have a point there, I guess," I said a little impatiently, "But seriously, can we have this conversation later? Edward is waiting for me."
"That is my point right there. You're not taking your time. You need to slow down. You have eternity after all."
"Right well, if you don't have anything to tell me, I'll just be going…" I turned away when suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder.
"Sorry," Maria said, "You're right. I'll get to the point now."
"Tanya would like to invite all the Cullens to accompany the rest of us on a small two day hunting trip. She wishes to give you all a tour, so to speak, of the best hunting places that can be found in Alaska, for some ultimate animal hunting. It's more for sport than for feeding, really. But I have noticed you Cullens have been a little low on energy lately, perhaps this will be good for all of you."
"I see," I said. Actually, I really didn't. Why would Tanya have Maria search for me and ask me this silly question? Surely Carlisle would be the one they would need to ask first? It didn't make sense. Unless…they were just using this as a distraction, to get me to leave Edward's side?
"I gotta go," I said abruptly and sprinted away from Maria back to where Edward was supposedly waiting.
I stopped about a mile away from Edward was supposed to be. I stopped running out of shock. Edward was no longer laying back, he was standing. And standing inches away from his face was Tanya, smiling that gorgeous breathtaking smile that made the pit of my soul burn black with hatred. To my immense relief, Edward stood stiffly and solid, something that told me he was not enjoying their conversation at all.
"That is it," I fumed to myself, "She is not going to survive this time."
There was a blur of scenery, and in a flash, I was at Edward's side. I glared at Tanya's angelic face. Her eyes flickered to mine and her smile immediately vanished. She straightened up and ran a hand delicately through her hair.
"Well, that's all. Just think about it, Ed," she said. Edward slightly bared his teeth to give a hint of a snarl, but he made no sound. And then she was gone.
"What did she want?" I demanded.
Edward shook his head, "This may be getting a little out of hand."
"She called you 'Ed'!"
"She was just being Tanya," Edward wrapped his arm around my shoulders, "There is nothing to worry about, love. I'm sorry I moved. I wasn't planning to…"
"Don't change the subject."
Edward looked into my eyes. His intensity took my breath away and I was rendered unable to speak.
"Bella," he said slow and firm, "You trust me, don't you?"
I nodded, dazed.
"Then believe me when I say there is nothing to worry about, alright?"
I gave in. I nodded.
I told him of Tanya's proposal. The rest of my family seemed to approve of the idea.
They all went. At least, except for me and Alice.
I did not go, not only because hunting with this strange coven was the last thing that I wanted to do, but because I get a fill of new animal blood whenever I step outside. It is almost impossible to ignore the calling. So I wasn't thirsty.
Edward was extremely reluctant to leave me. But I saw the dark circles under his eyes and I insisted that he go. The last time he hunted was before my transformation. Alice insisted on staying with me. I have a funny feeling Edward asked her to. He did not want me on my own.
It was very nearly unbearable to be without him like this. But it was also very nearly unbearable to stay around them for too long. The phony friendliness was an insult to my perception. And their overly friendliness to Edward was an insult to our relationship. And what was even more irritating is that I still didn't know why they were acting the way they were.
I needed answers.
"I need to ask you something."
"Have you, uh, 'seen' anything unusual? Anything we need to worry about? Mostly about us and Tanya's family?"
"No," Alice seemed slightly annoyed, "Edward already asked me that…and Esme. You need to stop worrying all the time. If something comes up, I'll let you know."
My head sunk in disappointment.
"How have you been handling the outdoors lately?" Alice asked, smiling.
"I'm doing great," I lied. I had tested myself earlier by stepping outside, I was doing fine for a while, but before I realized what I was doing, I was leaping up and down trying to reach for the birds that were gliding a mile overhead. Alice knew this. She 'saw' it before it happened. And now she was not letting me forget it.
Alice grinned maliciously. I ignored her.
"Ugh. When will Edward be back?" I asked myself.
"Soon," Alice answered unnecessarily.
"You know what? I think I'm just gonna step outside for a sec…"
Alice made a movement to follow but then I turned on her, "Alice, we aren't playing hostage anymore, okay? I'm just stepping on the front porch."
"I guess that's acceptable," Alice stopped, "But remember," she held up a finger, "I have my eye on you."
I rolled my eyes. I was feeling really irritable without Edward at my side.
"Give it a rest, Alice."
I stepped on the front porch. It smelled good today. It was much more peaceful with just two inhabitants. Despite what I told Alice, I stepped off the porch and wandered a little in through the trees. Scents were everywhere. My technique is that if something starts to call to me, I just stop breathing. It is the only way I can control myself for now.
I heard a snap and crack coming from the trees in the distance. But before I heard the noise, I caught the smell. The rich scent that intrigued my senses told me immediately that it was Tanya. I caught the scent of another….Eleazar. In the trees. Making noises. Why? She was supposed to be hunting with the others.
I swiftly stepped closer. A blur of scenery and I was standing stealthily behind a tree. There were voices whispering viciously to each other. I tuned in to the conversation with my heightened sense of hearing.
"…ridiculous. She's not special, she's not interesting, she's not intelligent. Why her?"
These words seemed so familiar. Way back what seemed a lifetime ago when I was a human in school.
"These things cannot be easily answered. Love works in strange ways." That was Eleazar's voice…
"She's a walking disaster. She brings destruction wherever she goes. Look what happened to Laurent! Irina was never able to get over him. Perhaps something may be done about her. There has to be something…"
"Is this the whole reason you planned this trip? What were you planning on doing, exactly? You are not being realistic!"
"There is nothing special about her. She is only in the way, my way. She is a nuisance and above of all, she is a newborn, inexperienced, easily deceived. I would have thought of something."
"Listen to yourself. There's nothing to do. It's done. He is very deeply attatched to her. He's in love and there is nothing to do about that."
Tanya turned away from Eleazar. The expression on her face was distorted with longing and pain, and then realization struck me. She was in love. She was in love with my Edward and she was trying to win him from me.
Edward…always the gentleman. He had never quite explained the gravitation of the feelings Tanya had for him. She had feelings he did not return. I almost felt sorry for her. If only she weren't planning to conspire against me.
Tanya slumped to her knees and looked down at the palms of her perfect hands.
"But what about me?" she asked softly. It was barely over a whisper, like it came from a voice beneath herself. It was strange seeing this goddess appear so vulnerable, "I'm suffering from the same emotion. Are you telling me that there is nothing to do about that? Is there no hope?"
Eleazar strode up to her and placed a hand on her shoulder, "You know you are not alone. You never were." He wrapped is arm around her middle.
Tanya's head snapped up and in a blur, she had yanked herself away and stood a couple feet away.
"No," she said coldly, "It is not the same. Not for us. And I refuse to let this end. I have a goal now. A purpose. And I will see to it that I succeed in the end."
"This is madness, Tanya! There is nothing that you can do! We can't you accept this?"
Eleazar reached out for her again but the look she gave him left him frozen.
"Either help me, Eleazar, or stay out of my way…"
At this moment, I froze. A smell washed over me. It was good. The delicious smell. It was here…he was here. Pure terror overcame me.
No, I thought to myself, No, not now.
Before I could think, I flashed out of my hiding place in a blur. I heard a howl somewhere in the distance. I managed to knock Tanya aside just in time to save her from getting her neck ripped out by the enormous silver wolf that snapped at the air where she was just standing.
"You!" she cried and thrust me away. I was slammed in to a tree with a force that made it snap. But I stood up quickly, unfazed, and yelled at her and Eleazar.
"Go! Get away from here! Run!"
Tanya looked murderous at me for a split second before she focused on the enormous wolf that was silently pacing closer, preparing to give chase. Her eyes widened with shock.
Eleazar stepped in front of both of us and snarled at the silver werewolf.
Everything, in a neat sequence of events, happened at super human speed. The great wolf and Eleazar launched at each other and clashed in a ferocious tackle. Tanya took the wolf's distraction to run in and grab and crush its side.
But before anything else could happen, a honey-colored wolf leaped in out of no where and crashed into Tanya, sending them both out of sight into the foliage.
I was about to help Eleazar when I suddenly found myself flying through the air, crashing into several trees before landing on the forest floor. Standing over me, snarling with eyes of fire and fury was a great reddish colored wolf. He looked quite ready to tear me to pieces.
"…Jacob," my voice was clear, steady, and yet immeasurably sad.
The red wolf paused for a moment, violence and rage slightly ebbing at the sound of his name. Jacob lowered his enormous nozzle in to my hair and inhaled deeply. He then turned his head to meet my eyes.
"I'm sorry," I cried, "I am so sorry." My voice ran with crystal clarity. I could hear the rapid beating of his heart, the erratic breaths of air going in and out of his lungs. He smelled delicious. I clamped my nostrils shut.
Jacob snarled ferociously and caused me to flinch.
"I'm not going to fight you, Jacob. You could tear me to pieces right now and I won't fight back. I probably deserve it. What I did to you, Jake, was not right. It was not right and I'm sorry."
He was still standing over me. His two front paws held each arm of mine pinned to the ground. I could probably thrust him off if I wanted to, but I needed to see him, to talk to him, and if this was the way it was going to happen, then so be it.
I laid there, sprawled on the forest ground, tangled in weeds, vines and leaves. I could no longer hear the battle with Tanya and Eleazar raging in the distance. But his eyes softened and he began to morph before my vampire eyes.
It was very fast. All of the sudden, instead of a nozzle, there was a regular human nose on his face. Instead of his wolfish paws holding me down, there were his hands.
"I could never hurt you, Bella," Jacob choked out, "Not when you talk to me like that. You know, with that whiney voice of yours."
He released raised a hand, releasing one of my own arms, and stroked my hair.
"You look different," he noted.
"It's part of the transformation. A lot of me changed."
"Even your eyes are different…I don't like it. I want to look in to your old brown eyes."
"I should have said goodbye. I should have done something. I just left. Can you ever forgive me, Jake?"
He looked at me for a long while before saying, "You just left."
"You severed all ties with me by becoming one of them."
"And yet…I forgive you. I will always forgive you. But—"
"I cannot forgive them. They're ones who made you this way. I can't just walk away after they did this. A price has to be paid—"
"Jake," I grew panicky, "This was my choice. Not theirs. I made the choice and I went through with it. Don't you see? This is all my fault. If you want to hurt somebody, hurt me. If you can't do that, then leave. Get away from here. I can't see you hurting anymore."
"How?!" Jacob snapped. He was fuming again, "Tell me how to just leave when my body and soul is still chained to you. Tell me how I can abandon these feelings when they are the only things I have that are still connected to you. How do I sever this sick hold you have on me, Bella? Tell me how!"
"Just move on," I whispered, "Just leave."
Jacob looked as though he were about to say something else when suddenly a blurred figure slammed in to him and sent him flying through the air, causing him to land with a loud thump on the ground.
Edward stood over me, looking ferocious. In a flash, I was standing by his side, gripping Edward's arm, trying very hard to be restraining.
Jacob stood up, trembling, with rage burning in his eyes.
"I," Edward interrupted, "cannot believe how fortunate it was that I decided to leave a little early to check on Bella. Tanya made an excuse to leave us, and I became suspicious. Now I find you, dog—"
"Please," I begged Edward, "Don't."
I then turned to Jacob, "Jacob, go home. Please. I have all I need to be happy. You need to find yourself the same. You said it yourself, I severed all ties with you by becoming what I am. So we can never be…I hope we never have to see each other again, if it keeps the pain away," I turned away, pulling Edward along with me.
I glanced over my shoulder and looked one last time at Jacob, absorbing all the details I could before whispering, "Goodbye."
We both disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving my Jacob in the middle of that cursed forest.
Ho! What's gonna happen do ya think? What happened to Tanya and Eleazar? What do you think the werewolves are gonna do? All these questions will be answered! Just stay tuned!
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