For as long as I was alive (And I might live to see the end of time.), I would protect her. She was a part of me now, and when she was in pain, so was I. I felt every ounce of anger and sorrow and fear like it was my own; like it was a poison sludging its way through my veins, eating at the muscle and forcing me to choke on my breath until I was crazy enough to want to rip it out.
However, despite my obsession to protect her, I could never call Renesmee fragile. Looking at her even now, I saw the fierce determination blazing like an aura around her body. She held herself like the predator she was, searching for her prey, confident that it would not get beyond her reach. And I knew it wouldn't. Whatever animal was to be her next meal had absolutely no chance of surviving.
If I didn't act soon, she would win. That couldn't happen.
I padded around the forest, twitching my ears in the direction of any noise and trying to stifle the sounds I made. I heard the skittering of squirrels as they raced up trees; the soft nibbles of a rabbit that had found some grass; the wet, bubbly breath of a bird who had just landed. None of that was big enough game to win against any prize Renesmee might catch. I continued searching.
A twig rustled against the dirt. My body stiffened. I leaned an ear in the direction of the noise, and when I heard something more, I shifted my entire body and began investigating. What I found was a wandering buck. He seemed just as careful as I, so I stalked for a few more feet before leaping. Unfortunately, his instincts reacted before I could, and he dashed away.
Not that I couldn't catch up with him. Within a few seconds I was a breath away from his back, close enough to nip at the hairs on his tail. Of course, doing so slowed me down, and my dinner began to get further away. To close the distance, I clenched my muscles while running and used the firmness to propel myself further and faster. The steps I took as I dashed became wider and I reacted much more quickly. Just a few more seconds and I would be close enough to swipe at him.
Just as the thought was finished and my excitement grew, the deer was knocked over. My stop was delayed from sheer surprise. I was forced to take a few more steps, slowing them, before I could turn around and learn what had happened. When I was finally able to do so, I saw Renesmee tearing into the buck's side. I had just been defeated.
I gave a sigh and ignored the steam that manifested from the heat of my breath and the chill of the air. There was no part of me that was ashamed to lose to Renesmee. She was strong, fast, and smart. How could I be ashamed? That would almost be insulting. I was, however, moping at the loss itself. I had almost been about to pounce when she had come out of nowhere.
With resignation, I sauntered over to the scene. Renesmee, sensing my presence, paused and smiled at me in wicked victory. Just a handful of years ago, this scene would have nauseated me. Not because of the gore – I was used to the sight of blood and torn apart flesh. – but because I was watching a vampire feeding. But now it didn't matter. I bent my head as her arm extended and closed my eyes in contentment, not disturbed by the blood coating her fingertips. Her victory flashed within my mind. It was like HDTV in my brain. I saw the forest from her point of view and watched as she caught whiff the scents of both me and the buck. Her legs began moving, and within seconds she had found us. Her knees bent. Her eyes narrowed. She pounced; he fell.
I sensed the gloating behind the vision. When my eyes opened, I rolled them as if to tell her that her accomplishment wasn't that big of a deal. I felt the exact opposite. Every time she beat me, I was proud. Renesmee was a powerful girl – almost a woman – and every breath she took left me in awe.
Her fingers hadn't left my face and another vision emerged. I saw the both of us crouched over the animal, feasting. I realized she was asking me to join her dinner. I smiled the best I could as a wolf and licked her fingers before padding to the corpse and tearing at its leg, enjoying an early lunch with her.
When we finished, barely even the bones were left.