She didn't know for how long she'd been running.
It was almost dark. And very cold. The trees confused her… everything looked pretty much the same. So green! Why is everything so green in that town? She thought, in panic. Bella had no idea about where she was going. Her legs hurt and her chest was in flames, aching for some air. Her face and arms were full of scratches and bruises. But she couldn't stop. The pack was just behind her. If she slowed down a bit, she would be killed for sure.
Bella saw more than felt when the wolf approached. Shock and fear crossed her face when she realized he had bitten her tightly. The excruciating pain made her scream, breaking the deep silence of the forest as she tripped on a rock and fell. She rolled down the gully, getting more bruises. Her bag fell on the way and her hair escaped from the tie she had made. When she stopped, she just laid on her stomach, gasping for air. Her heart was beating so fast. She could bet the wolves could hear. Making them even more hungry.
"Well, well, well ". Someone said next to her, and she opened her eyes as someone took off her hat. "I guess we have a lady here, gentlemen. Now, why would such a pretty lady like you be disguised as a man?"
Anger made Bella look up at the guy who was holding her hat with a smirk on his pretty face. Silky black hair framed his strong features. It was an Indian American boy… he looked a couple years younger than her, Bella noticed, but he was a giant! Where were the wolves? "Please, give me back my hat", she muttered.
"Oh, she's short on money", said another guy, this one leaner, but still very tall, who was taking a look at her luggage. "Hey! Let go of my stuff! ", shouted Bella furiously, trying to get up, but her thigh protested and she felt on her butt. The giant next to her chuckled and Bella felt her face getting hot. That was insulting! Who were those people?
"But there still is something interesting here, Paul! Check this out! White women's underwear! ", the other boy sniffed her cotton shirt and sighed "Smells delicious, like flowers or something".
"You two, let this go now!" said a deep, scary voice in a commanding tone. Bella's eyes widened when she saw a huge man older than her walking calmly to where they were. He was on the edge of the clearing, but somehow, Bella realized that was … the head of the pack! Those boys were the wolves. But she couldn't be in the tribe. Jessica drew her map! "Now, witch ", said the leader "I think we have something to deal with. You broke the treaty. Why shouldn't I order my friends to kill you? Or better, to send you to your captors? "
"Hold on a second!" pleaded Bella nervously. For the Goddess she was in trouble. "Please! I didn't know I was entering your territory! My friend, Jessica, drew me a map, but somehow, I got it wrong. Look!" she said, taking a very used piece of paper out of her black suit and giving it to the boy closer to her. He gave her an appreciating look and took the map.
"You aren't wrong, honey. ", the boy laughed and explained to the leader "Your map leads you to this place. Or, even better, to the middle of our limits. You're almost on the cold one's territory." He frowned "I guess your friend, Miss Stanley, wanted to pick you a very lethal treat… "
"What?" Bella's face paled. "That's impossible!" The boy shrugged, Jessica wouldn't do that to her, would she? Thought Bella. She was upset when Michael Newton asked her to go to the Spring Ball, but that's all! Bella had refused him anyway. She's leaving to the witch camp in Montana. She didn't want a boyfriend! Oh, that was so unfair! She knew she was going to regret staying with Lauren and Jessica while she's in Forks. But Angela said they were nice people!
"Look, I'm very, very sorry for entering your lands. But I'm leaving for Montana. I mean no harm. Can you just tell me the right direction? I promise you won't ever see me again! ". Said Bella, upset. She would love to get back at Jessica and her smug friend, but she had other problems in mind. That was not a problem. She had an eternity for revenge. A new inquisitor was coming to Forks and she had two centuries of running away from them. A meeting with the new Savonarola wasn't in her plans. She had to go.
The leader, Sam, looked at the girl. She looked pretty, even in men's clothes. With long chestnut hair and big chocolate eyes. And a heart shaped face. Lovely... for a white woman. It seems she had gotten into some kind of trouble with the coven in the city. That was not their problem. At least she was leaving. That was great. The bloodsuckers could have the decency of doing the same. "Fine. you can go in peace. Just make sure you clean up this wound, or you'll attract other… predators. "he said, coldly. " Jacob will draw you a map. But do not come back here, or we will kill you, witch. Do not forget that".
"I won't. Thank you, very much." Bella said, breathlessly, accepting the new map from Jacob. He offered to take care of her wound, but she refused. Jacob looked too enthusiastic to touch her thighs for her comfort. She could take care of herself. She'd been doing this for the last 217 years. She'd be fine.
When the pack finally left, she tore up an old shirt and tied up the wound. Then she got up, packed her few possessions again and walked a few miles. It was dark anyway, so she had to set camp for the night. She made a small bonfire near a river, cleaned herself the best she could with the freezing water, and brought back some water to make a soup with some herbs she found on the way. It was not exactly her favorite dish, but it was better than nothing. And it would keep her warm, that was important too, she thought, covering herself with a cap and leaning against a tree. It was, somehow, getting even colder. That night would be difficult.
She was almost falling asleep when she heard a noise. Bella sat up, scanning the darkness. The bonfire had died off during the night. But the moon had made its way between the heavy clouds. Bella stopped breathing.
Somehow, a huge mountain lion landed just a few steps from where she was. Bella opened her mouth to start screaming when something else landed on the lion. She froze when she realized that what she was seeing, it was not something, but someone who was now biting the lion's neck. It took one, two, three gulps, then looked up at the sky. It was the most beautiful girl she'd ever seen in her long life. Her blond hair shone silver against the bare light. Black liquid drained from her full lips to her jaw and throat, in deep contrast against her white skin. Her eyes were closed in ecstasy, oblivious of Bella's close presence.
Taking advantage of that, Bella stood up very quietly, followed a small impulse and flew away from the blond beauty. She didn't fly a couple meters' away when she met something really hard and fell on her butt in the hard, cold ground. That was the second time that day, thought Bella. This Forks city was definitely her personal hell.
"Who are you?" asked a soft velvet voice just above her.
"Who did you find, Edward? ", asked a feminine voice that sounded to Bella, like a bell's song.
"It's a girl, Alice. The question is, what's a girl doing here in a time like this?" he seemed frustrated somehow.
Light came from behind Bella, and the shadows came to life. Bella looked up and involuntarily held her breath. He was… stunning. His bronze hair was like fire on the lamp's light. His beautiful face, pale as the moon, had strong, perfect features. But what fascinated her was his wide golden eyes. She looked around, blinking, to the five glorious beings around her, including the blond girl. Oh, she's so stupid! Of course they were not human! They couldn't be!
So, she got discovered. Again. Well, the best she could do was deal with the problem. So, she got up, patting her clothes carefully, then stretched her hand to the beautiful bronze haired boy in front of her.
"Hi. My name is Isabella Swan. I'm a witch. You must be the cold ones, I suppose."