A/N: Gotta admit, I'm a total sucker when it comes to predator/prey fics and while writing another one I had this idea and needed to type it down immediately. Lucky you, since my real life is on hold for a while. XD It was supposed be a one shot first but after I reached 15 pages, I decided to go for chapters instead, since I have trouble finishing stuff and assumed there would be enough pressure once it's out to for the read. Haha. The summary sounds weird, but the original one gave too much away. It'll be replaced once the story has been updated. Last but not least a huge THANKS to my Betas Michelle and Leigh. They're amazing and always helpful. (Yes I have two, because I can. XD)
Disclaimer: These wonderful Characters sadly aren't mine. I just use them to create drama. Stephenie Meyer on the other hand is the rightful owner and I'll thank her forever for creating this awesome Love Story.
I was running. Running towards an unknown future. Unknown, because there wasn't any guarantee that I would be part of it. Dying was a probability in this world of myths and monsters. And Alice had seen it, not just once. The creature snapping my neck, in thirst for the red liquid, tearing my skin apart with sharp venom drenched teeth and my eyesight slowly dulling, my body limp against his. But love made me a fool and hope never let me catch my breath. So I kept running, sending Alice new images of grief, toward the only person I loved more than my own life.
I felt the burn in my lungs when I set my feet faster after one another. The saltwater hadn't done them any good. And I remember Alice and I had been running before, in a mission to save the creature, after false information had led to false assumptions and he asked the most powerful vampire coven in the old world to assist him in his wish for death. The tower clock and the bright sunlight had been our worst enemies. And time made us almost fail.
But the plans of the immortal inhabitants of this city had suddenly changed and Alice received new visions. Pictures, offering a much worse nightmare in its finality for all the Cullens, and me.
A hammering pain pierced my rip cage, forcing my arms to wind protectively around my body. But I wouldn't slow down. I would never slow down. Not after Alice's face had twisted in a mask of pain and horror, not responding for seven entire minutes.
"Alice! Alice!" I tried to shake her when we were driving with 180 miles per hour into Volterra. Of course for all that mattered I could have tried to lift a mountain.
Silence. Another hundred heartbeats passing, racing.
"Alice, please snap out of it. What have you seen? What is happening? Is Edward…?" I couldn't say the words. They offered too much pain for continuing. Too much loss to bear for an already broken heart.
But she didn't react. She just stared blinded on the road, only conscious enough to not wheel the car around a tree.
"It can't be too late." I whispered.
Alice turned her head in slow motion, looking directly into my shock frozen pupils. Her usual musical voice strained, hopelessness colouring every word. "It is!"
I pushed my legs faster, ignoring the salty trails on my cheek.
"They killed him already." My words sounded detached. And my body prepared to faint, the hole in my chest shattering the weak tissue left by his rejection all those months ago. I couldn't live in a world where he didn't exist. My heart had nothing left to beat for.
I reached the clock tower but kept running further into the dark alleys of this old town. Somewhere here in the shadows they had waited for him, like ghosts. Waited for him to make the mistake of exposing himself to the world. Waited until they had gotten new orders and dragged him back to wherever they were settled.
"No Bella, but they did something to him." Sadness spread over her face as she revealed a truth I'd never want to accept.
One I was running to prevent from happening. Even if death would be my trade.
I swallowed hard, remembering her next words.
"He won't come back. He is loyal to their coven now, willingly admitted to their lifestyle." She breathed in a low voice, anxiety clearly written in her eyes, asking the silent question none of us could answer yet. She shook her head in agony. "I don't understand. He is killing humans."
Even now one hour later I had to sharply inhale. I couldn't picture Edward hunting people, couldn't see him doing this to Carlisle. He would never betray his father. It made no sense. The only thing that had kept me to this earth that precise moment was him still breathing. In her vision he had been alive.
"He's not dead Alice! We have to save him."
She looked directly into my eyes and I knew in that moment that she couldn't see my decision changing anything. "Bella we need to speak with Carlisle. You can't go after him. It's too dangerous. I don't know what happened, but right now he is far from the vampire you fell in love with. He will attack you, no doubt."
I came to a halt, bent over and rested my arms on my knees. Here in the shadows they still must hide. True monsters! The kind that lived on human blood. The one Edward was now following. Though I knew nothing would happen to me here in the light of day. They would never drain someone in the open. It would cause too much attention.
I scanned the area. My eyes knew what they were looking for. Pale faces, which appeared to be beautiful in their smoothness; dark red eyes, that caused the tiny hairs in the back of every human's neck to stand up right; and a voice that sang instead of talked, able to deceive the sense of self preservation.
I was here in hope to get lured away, willing to follow those creatures. They would lead to Edward, once they were aware, once they learned that I had been the reason for Edward forcing their justice in the beginning.
"No Bella! I won't let you get killed by my brother." There was no room for arguing. Her focus was already ahead in the future, watching for Edward, her family and mostly watching out for me.
I sighed frustrated and started looking out of the window. I couldn't believe for one moment that Edward would ever see me as his prey. He had kept me safe from the very first day we met, fighting his deepest desires over and over. Of course that had been a long time ago. Maybe now that he didn't love me anymore, that he didn't even know I was still alive and already committed to living the life of a real vampire, it made no difference to him whom he attacked.
I searched the empty streets once more but found nothing close to the gracious figures I imagined living here. I was completely alone. Lost in search for the enemy I remembered; it hadn't been a rational decision.
"Bella, please don't do that."
I wasn't even sure if the word decision had fit, me intentional stepping into the sunlight and suddenly being intrigued by the possibility of tricking Alice.
"Bella, no!" She called after me, trapped by the one rule every vampire had to keep in mind in order to live. The one Edward had planned to stress before.
I wouldn't listen. The desire stronger than the rational mind.
"I'm sorry, Alice, so sorry," I whispered and my plan was set on going after him. "But who knows what else they might do to him." And tears filled my eyes when looking into hers, betrayal clearly written in my best friend's face. "I have to try. I cannot not try saving him."
There was a light breeze blowing through my hair, howling silent into my ear, but other than that I didn't hear anything except my own breathing. Didn't feel anything but my own heartbeat, yet out of nowhere they were suddenly there. Two tall boys with wintry skin, clothed in black robes, blocking my way in front and from behind.
"Hello pretty lady." One of them said in a deep singing voice. "Do you need assistance in finding your destination?"
I tucked a lock behind my ear and remembered to stay calm. I knew I was in grave danger. I also knew if I wanted a shot at getting to Edward alive, I had to come clean.
"Yes actually, I could use the help of some gentlemen familiar with this place," I said, smiling into their pale faces. "I'm looking for the vampire in charge of this city."
And then it happened, as I was backing further away from the car, parked in the shadow of a huge tree. Alice glance shifted into the distance, her attention fully concentrated onto the vision my decision had enforced.
The strangers exchanged a quick look and a third Vampire joined this gathering. She was much smaller and wore an innocent, yet much too smug expression on her face when she leaned in, speaking only inches away from my ear.
"As you wish, human."
And a shiver cold as ice ran though every bone in my fragile body as I let them take me to a second town lying underneath the city of Volterra.
It took only a second for my future to alter. Alice's head kept moving from left to right and back again, in denial and sorrow for what was coming for me. Who was coming for me!
"Edward…" she breathed. And I understood.
One single tear dropped from my eyes as I continued walking away from her. "I'm so sorry."
And then I started running.