A/N: I don't have much to say, but... Enjoy!
Passing through Alaska posed no problem, though I had been expecting at least some sort of resistance. The area was bare, all dead deciduous trees, thriving evergreens, and large patches of thick, white snow. I wore no cover and my movements were quick as nothing blocked the path between one forest and the next.
Denali was empty of life, or so it seemed. In the frozen weather, I doubted any sort of 'real' life would be out. A few rabbits fled from my path, sensing the predator deep within, though I was sure their tiny eyes could not detect my quick movements.
A few hours and I was standing atop a snowy hill, overlooking a vast amount of flat, white space. Snow had settled into one smooth plain, completely untouched. The surrounding area was devoid of human life, not even the occasional home to be seen.
I was more cautious, now in the open. I had heard much about the strange coven that lived in the area, part of the reason my heart was now trembling in my chest. I forced the cowardly feeling back and, with a large breath, stepped into the open.
It was a good sign when nothing pounced on me, as I had half been expecting. I stepped further, and my feet met the soft snow. I felt no cold, the flakes as frozen as my own skin, but the wetness seeped through my jeans. I grimaced at the strange wetness; it made its way through my shoes and soon my feet were swimming in it.
In my discomfort, I failed to notice the approaching figures. There were two males, both fairly lean, their posture strange. I glanced up, and seeing them, stiffened my body, as if hoping my pale skin would melt into the snow. Unfortunately, it did not.
They came ever closer, until both of them stood less than five feet from me, though we could have spoken with no trouble over the vast distance. I noticed again, their anomalous posture.
One man, handsome beyond imagination with light, golden hair and frightening eyes to match, stepped forward- the leader. The other stood back a few steps, his eyes narrowed, brows furrowed, fists clenched. I turned away from his fierce expression, unnerved.
My dead heart was pounding wildly in my chest, unheard by anyone but myself. To be cornered by not one, but two, strong male vampires, obviously capable, was not what I had planned. I nodded at the leader, turning a fraction of an inch away from the other, blocking him out. I chose not to startle them just yet with my bizarre power.
"Hello," the blond began. He raised his hand for a moment, toward me, as if he wished to shake mine, but it fell back to his side immediately. I almost laughed; these were a strange species of vampire.
I nodded my head just a trifle, refusing to speak while my vocal chords trembled.
"I am Carlisle Cullen, and this is my... son, Edward." He motioned to the strange boy standing beside him.
Son, I thought. I had never heard of a vampire refer to his changeling as a son, but these Alaskan bloodsuckers were known to be different. I turned in the boy's direction reluctantly, barely glancing at him as I gave another short nod.
My heart had settled just a little at their obviously kind display, but I was still unsure. I took a deep breath and spoke:
"I am Isabella Swan," I paused, curious, "You are different." I felt somewhat silly stating the obvious, and my cheeks felt hot with embarrassment, though no blood rushed forward, and there was by no means any heat to warm them.
Snowflakes danced overhead, carried by the wind. Carlisle nodded, his golden hair moving from place in the breeze. "We are. And you are the same."
The bronze-haired boy, despite his peculiar frustration, gave a small cough, a hidden laugh. My eyes snapped to his, surprised once again by the molten gold shimmering within his irises. He held the gaze. Carlisle turned to him and Edward's eyes snapped away from my own; they stared at each other in a prolonged silence. I felt confused and misplaced while I watched their encounter, as if they were speaking somehow, but I could not hear what they were saying.
Carlisle turned back to me, and Edward ran a discontent hand through his velvety bronze hair. From the corner of my eye, I watched it fall back into perfect order, a mess over his eyes.
"Would you care to join us in our home?" Carlisle asked in a controlled voice, perfect calm. The stretch of muscles in his jaw betrayed his cool facade.
"No thank you, I would prefer not to interrupt." I took a single step back, feeling my foot slip back into the snow.
Edward stepped closer, then, so he was right beside his leader. He held out a palm, "No. I mean- it wouldn't be prudent for you to stay out in the cold." He gritted his teeth, a sharp, slicing noise.
A smile flicked up the corners of my red lips, almost unwilling. I gave him a sympathetic glance, sure he was taken away by my unnatural beauty. "The cold does not bother me." I turned to Carlisle. "Thank you for your offer, but I was only passing through. I will be leaving shortly, likely for the States."
He nodded understandingly. "I ask that you do not kill in the area."
With a single inclination of my head, I turned, slipping back into the forest. It was not until I was hidden deep inside that I let the exhausted breath escape me. For a moment, I had been sure I would be killed. The vampires were different. They were calm, peaceful, human. The monster always so close to the surface of my mind had been tortured into obedience in them, I could tell; their posture, their looks, their eyes.
For the next seven years, I would be haunted by the image of those golden eyes, so different, so mystifying, so lovely...
A/N: I began writing another story; first named 'Sunrise', but quickly changed to 'Roses Are Red'. I felt as though I could not continue it, and so I deleted it, in a burst of low self esteem combined with various other things.
The writing in this story is different from that one. Or maybe it isn't. I'm not quite sure. I felt like in 'Roses Are Red' I was forcing myself to write in a certain way, when this story shows my true style. Yes, I still keep the online Thesaurus by hand so I don't use the word 'strange' six times in one sentence, but this is... me.
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