He smells weird. Worried. I must've hit the girl.

I smell worried? Who the hell smells emotions? I got out of the car and turned my head in the direction of the thoughts to see a cloud of dust coming up from the sand. When I strained my ears to try and hear the hum of a car's engine, I heard the soft but quick patter of feet across the desert. Whoever it was, was running. Like, my type of running.

I don't understand why they sent me to the mind reader. James has a more complex mind than me. It would confuse the target. Oh, mind reader, if you are listening to me, I am Laurent. I am with James and Victoria. I am an agent of the asylum. I am going to try and capture you, and I am 100 percent certain I will lose.

I laughed. At least this guy had a sense of humor and wasn't cocky.

I knew you'd get a kick out of that. But remember that just because I highly doubt myself, doesn't mean you should too. It's always good to over-estimate an enemy, rather than under-estimate and lose.

The man, Laurent, slowed to a stop a few hundred yards in front of me. I could hear his even breathing, telling me instantly that he was like me in that term at least. Laurent had dark drown, nearly black, hair, and olive-toned skin. Italian, if I'd ever seen one. I remembered one of Jasper's memories of an Italian baby-sitter we'd had once.

"So, you're Edward Masen, notorious escapee and test subject for the asylum." Laurent said in a casual, accented voice. "I was wondering when I'd get to meet you. Did you know that I was a doctors' toy too before James and Victoria chose me for their trackers' unit?"

"No, I did not." I replied, deciding to keep my manners as long as Laurent kept his. "But, I must admit, I'd feel much more comfortable with this if Bella were actually conscious."

"That was necessary. If it broke out into a fight, I wanted it to be a fair one." Laurent shrugged. "I didn't want to be out-numbered, and I didn't want you to get battered up trying to protect her." I was about to point out that, since Bella was unconscious, I'd still have to protect her, but Laurent kept speaking. "I don't try to harm the incapable."

I could feel my eyes widening. "Well, I'm honestly surprised." I said with a breathy laugh. "I thought you'd be blood-thirsty, or something like James. Crazy and paranoid."

"James had… modifications that exceed humanistic limitations." Laurent explained. He sat down comfortably, as I did. "James was selected for a special set of modifications that were tested on a human subject." I didn't fail to notice how he looked pointedly at me. "But they went over-board with the whole no-sleep, split-personality thing."

Well, that cleared it all up. Seriously.

"Why is the asylum trying to capture me, especially?" I asked out of the blue. "I mean, there must be dozens—hundreds—of escapees out there, but—"

"You're their test-subject." Laurent said casually. "In their opinion, you are their research, their library of modifications, their worst enemy. You can use their own tools against them. And, I mean, you, with a shield," Laurent laughed once, "is bound to attract some worry. With her," he pointed to Bella, "you could waltz anywhere in the world, and nobody would be able to stop you."

I nodded my head thoughtfully as my mind considered the possibilities.

"But, then, we'd always just find someone to threaten you two, or at least Bella with." Laurent suggested. In his mind, Carlisle and Esme appeared briefly before Laurent caught himself.

All was silent for a few seconds before I blurted something else out. "Do you know how to fill a car's gas tank?"

Laurent looked surprised before the question registered in his mind. "Um… yeah…"

"Could you help me?" I felt unbelievably awkward for asking one of my enemies how to fill a car with gas, but this wasn't exactly the kind of thing you learned in an asylum, never going outside in all that you could remember.

"Sure…" Laurent slowly got up and closed the distance between him and the car. Is this some kind of trick?

"No, this isn't." I scowled at Laurent and handed him the large container of gas Bella had put in the backseat. "But, by all means, if you convince the asylum to give driving lessons, it makes it so much easier when they escape."

"If they escape."

I shrugged my shoulders. "A minor factor. Everyone has to come out sometime."

Laurent let out a humorless laugh. "Yeah, I guess you'd think that."

"Oh, come on. Nobody can survive without seeing the sun once in a while." I reasoned.

"Ha! You were in there for nine years without going outside, and you turned out fine." Laurent said while pouring the gas into a hole he had opened in the side of the car. When the container was all empty, he set it on the ground, shocking red against a pale orange, and brushed his hands together dutifully. Okay. This is going to be mess—

As soon as I heard those words, I concentrated, and for the first time on command, time slowed for me enough to see Laurent's hand pulled back in a fist, and that coming towards me. A flicker of recognition flashed across his eyes, and he began to move at my speed.

"So, you've learned how to do that quickly." Laurent hissed.

The air whistled around my ear as Laurent's fist flew right by my head, only missing by millimeters.

"And just when I thought the asylum had a heart…" I mused, mainly to myself. Laurent heard and laughed. He quickly reached into his pocket and pulled out a dart, almost exactly like the one in Bella's neck.


"It seems as though James took longer than I thought." Laurent said, taking a brief look to the south. "Apparently I was wrong."

And, speeding up so dramatically I couldn't even begin to block it, Laurent jerked his feet to my shins, knocking me down, and thrust the dart into my shoulder before I had hit the sand.

A/N: Who honestly knew it was going to be Laurent? So, I tried to make his appearance as close to the Twilight Series' character for him; neutral, and then an enemy. And then death, but... maybe not for a while. Oh, and I haven't forgotten about the whole 'smelling' emotions thing. Did you know that sometimes you can tell an emotion from a person's pulse, or blood pattern? That's sort of what I was getting at, but with smelling, like wolves. Their ability to smell the amount of adrenaline in your blood loosely contributes to Laurent's unique ability (but you'll learn more on that later).

No worries,
Kylie M.