Chapter One

EPOV

Twilight was always his favorite time of night. He sat in silence looking out over the small town of Forks. The fog was rolling in and there was a cold nip in the air. He tucked his long coat close around his body to prevent the flapping from drawing attention as he leaped from building to building. Always in the shadows, nothing more than a shift in the corner of someone's peripheral vision. This was his routine, his born responsibility. He was a guardian of the humans.

He remembered two months ago when he came to rest here at this small Washington town. He had notified his family of his new location. His brothers, of course, began bombarding him with questions. Why was he there? Had he had another premonition like before the last massacre? What had drawn him there? Actually the last one was a question he had asked himself many times lately. He had scanned this entire area and found no reason for his uneasiness. No strange happenings in the news, no people disappearing, no rise in crime. So what exactly had brought him here? He shook his head to clear it of the cobwebs as he continued to glance out over the horizon.

JPOV

I could feel his confusion, his trepidation. My older brother was normally the most down to earth and matter of fact about our lives. He took his training seriously and had no reservations whatsoever about what his duties were on this planet. Protect the humans at any cost. I had seen him put his life on the line far too many times in his years. I reached out mentally to the eldest of us asking him if he wanted to join me in a hunt so we could discuss Edward. He agreed to meet me that evening so I made my normal scan over the city and disappeared into the shadows to meet Emmet.

I had climbed to the very top of the redwood. It was one of my favorite places. So tall and majestic, reminding me in a way of our very existence. Watching over the forest in its own way. I heard Emmet long before he got there. Not like anything or anyone else would have heard it, I heard him in my mind. We had this connection between the three of us, it was there from birth, part of the instilled enhancements our kind had evolved over the years. He ran swiftly and silently, not even the crickets stopped their song as he passed. To them and the animals it was simply a breeze passing along and never disturbing their quiet little world.

EMPOV

I knew exactly where to meet my brother without either of us having to say it. His favorite place in California was the redwoods, and I had to admit it was a beautiful and quiet location. I found him at the top and hunched down on the limb next to him as I looked out over the stillness.

Are you feeling it too? With Edward I mean. There is something he isn't telling us.

We only had to think the words in our minds. It preserved the silence we all cherished. He continued to look out over the horizon for a brief moment before answering.

I'm sure there is something there that pulled him, I'm just not sure that it is as safe and platonic as he claims. You remember the last time he was drawn to a location out of the blue. It was 1 day before the Columbine Massacre at the school. He has never forgiven himself for not catching that in time. I just hope if there is something brewing that he calls to us in time.

I agree, Jasper. It's not like him at all. Normally he is the one telling us to be safe first and not to jump into things without completely evaluating the situation. He nodded in agreement. I was distracted by a movement in the far left quadrant and smiled at my little brother as I leaped down for a quick snack.

EPOV

Another day was awakening, although you really couldn't tell it much here. Fog still thick and light mist falling. The humans were beginning to move about so I carefully stayed out of sight. Until I could find the reason I was brought here, I could offer them no solace, so no reason for them to even know I existed.

I ran by the school for a quick once over, just to make sure. It was quiet except for the principal who was just arriving. There were no other thoughts at all emanating from the building. Suddenly I stopped in the parking lot, it wasn't fear or agitation that froze me, it was more of a brief picture that flashed in my head. I followed it to a parking place and just stood there, out in the open. Whatever it was had drawn me out like a deer in headlights. But as briefly as it had arrived, it had vanished. I reached down and brushed my hand up and down my opposite arm, the hair was standing on end. Goosebumps, ME? What exactly was it that I felt? It wasn't a call exactly, it wasn't either of my brothers, they were too precise. It was more like a premonition only I'm not sure what it was I almost saw. I headed out of town to the nearby wooded area in search of a quick meal before my day resumed.

I was moving slowly which for our kind was easy. I just let the woods direct me to the sounds that I heard. I picked up the soft breathing of a large elk and began to shift my movement in that direction. That's when it hit me. So strong I fell to my knees hard. Someone was screaming in my head! A female voice so clear and so frightened! A terrifying, blood curdling, fear ran through my body so fast it was as if my reason for existance was in jeopardy. The overwhelming feeling tied my stomach into knots. Something was there, something needed me, NOW! I turned and ran, not even knowing myself where I was going. I was no more than a flash as I maneuvered through the streets. I heard it and saw it and felt it simultaneously. The exact parking space I had stood in just a little bit earlier. A van moving so fast, a girl frozen in fear. I moved without thought. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I screamed in my head. I reached out my hand and caught the van just seconds before she was squashed. She fell backwards and bumped her head on the ground as I made sure the van didn't recoil and slide back into her. As soon as I saw she was alive I dissipated into mist and was gone before she could realize I wasn't just a dream.

I was never so thankful in my life for our gifts. I sat on the edge of the cafeteria building, breathing heavily as I tried to compose myself. My brothers had felt the flow and was bombing me again. Edward what happened? Are you ok? You better answer us or we are on our way there!!

I'm ok. I'll explain in just a minute, let me get myself together. It was just an automobile accident with a human.

We aren't buying that Edward. We don't know what happened but THAT was far more than an accident. We felt the surge of power hit you like a nuclear explosion. Talk to us brother, fill us in.

Ok ok! I had gone into the woods for a quick hunt and something I truly can't explain buckled my knees. I have never had a surge like that. But all I knew was that I had to save someone and I only had seconds to do it. It was like someone called to me psychically. But you guys are the only ones who ever has been able to do that. That was the most unusual thing that has ever happened to me.

That was truth, I was still shaking from the adrenaline charge I always got from things like this. I sat there resting on my legs as I watched the students rushing to the girl and saw her look up with the blank stare they always had after seeing us disappear into thin air like that. It was best for them that we did, that way they always wondered just exactly what happened, the newspaper would proclaim it a miracle, the person would later ask questions of their clergy about angels and if they dissolved into mist, and no one would be the wiser. End of problem for everyone. Then I felt it again. I literally fell backwards as it hit me.

It was a silent call. Someone was searching for me. Someone was calling to me. I moved back to the edge of the building and looked over as I saw her. She was looking around, all around. Not listening to the others, not paying attention as the EMT's were trying to clean her scraped arm. Her eyes were looking all over with such commitment. I tried to focus on the signal I felt, trying to hone in on it and read it correctly. Surely I wasn't feeling this young girl. That was completely impossible. So I needed now to find the source of my incoming signal.

JPOV

I felt it again powerful and persistent. I knew it was the surge that had hit Edward earlier. Before I could regroup and think straight, I got a message from Emmet.

Jaz, I know you had to feel that too. Something is connecting with Edward and I don't like it one bit. So whether you join me or not, I'm heading to Washington. How could I refuse, this is what we did, we supported each other, as well as the rest of the guardians. Meet me at the edge of the forest and we will contact Carlisle before we head out. I locked up and headed to meet him.

Emmet was there before me and I could feel his anxiety before I got to him. Calm down Emmet, it won't do anyone any good to barge in with guns blazing so to speak. We don't even know what he is up against yet. I laid my hand on my brother's shoulder and tried to convey to him that I was worried too. It had been a long time since either of us had made a trip to offer any kind of help to Edward. Normally it was the other way around. Emmet with his hot head always jumped in first and counted adversaries afterwards. While I on the other hand always tried to talk my way out and several times I had backed myself into a corner and had to thank my big brother for showing up.

Edward was nothing like either of us. He was the thinker. The one who was determined to follow through with the ways of old. The one who seemed to always know when something wasn't right and could reason the way out of any mess he was in. That is why it floored us to feel such surges and the uncertainty they caused.

EMPOV

I panicked there was no other word to describe it. I felt my little brother in need and I had to go to him. Something was hitting him full force and he had no way to defend himself against such powerful psychic attacks without Jasper and I there. To tell the truth, I'm not even sure we could put up enough of an opposing front with the three of us. If Jaz and I could feel it this strong all this way apart, then how did Edward stand a chance.

I flipped open my phone and dialed my parents. "Hi Mom, how is everything there? Great, listen, Jaz and I were about to head up to Washington to surprise Edward. Well you know how boring it gets and we just thought we would see what he was up to. Yes Ma'am. Yes Ma'am. No Ma'am I didn't think you were stupid, I just didn't want to worry you. Yes Ma'am, I promise. I love you too. Hi Dad, ..."

EPOV

I did a visual scan of the area, I saw nothing and no one out of the ordinary. Maybe I was just feeling too much adrenaline. I should go hunt and calm myself. I walked to the back of the building where no one was standing and jumped casually to the ground. I let my nature take its course and ran to the woods, turning my thoughts off for the tranquillity of my inner beast. After finding the elk again, I decided to go back to my home and rest a bit.

Entering my home was immediately calming for me. It was my sanctum, my haven. I glanced around and noticed that the cleaning woman had been here already. This was a good thing. Although I wasn't necessarily messy, it kept me from having to worry about watering the plants and dusting.

The day to day monotonous dealings of life was boring to me, had been for years. I just existed. I had a job I loved, a family I loved, and a meaning to my life. I was a Guardian. One of the elite group of Carpathian Elder Vampires. My mother, Esme, was the daughter of the Carpathian Leader. The equivalent of a modern day princess in Europe. My father, Carlisle, was the Superior Guardian. He had been assigned to protect her and they had fallen in love. I had two brothers who I would gladly die for, and my job in itself was simple enough. Protect any and all humans. They are the weaker species and most important on this Earthly existence.

Carpathians had many gifts or talents. We had superior strength, hearing, vision, speed, and could become mist at a second's notice. Some of us had a psychic ability of one kind or another added to those. My brothers and myself could connect through our minds. No matter where we were, no matter how far apart. Continents did not even lessen our connection. And Emmet's personal favorite, was the ability make a human bend to our will. To put them in a trance of some sort. We could make them fall completely in love with us, or not even see us as we walked by. We could change their mood, change their perception of faith, change their innermost feelings. Ours was to use this and all our gifts responsibly.

It was a lonely existence to some. Out all night and some days, moving among the humans and watching. Going immediately when we were needed, no matter where. To some, it was the hardest of all life's expectancies, the me, it was just life. I enjoyed my time alone. I read, I lost myself in music, I observed the human character and how it had changed over the 108 years that I had been on this earth. We aged extremely slowly, so to humans, I was still in my late teens, or early twenties, my parents barely looked forty and they were both over 300.

My parents were a rarity. Most of the guardians, chose to remain unwed. Whether it was the loneliness or the danger of the job, that is just how it was. At first my mother was upset that my brothers and I had chosen this for ourselves, but she did realize what an honor it was to be accepted into the guardians. The training was vigorous and harsh and some of the applicants never even made it through.

The dangers to the humans usually varied,. depending on where you were. We had fought other leagues of vampires, there were many varieties and acceptances among our kind. We had fought shape shifters of all sorts and sizes. Werewolves, were a nuisance in many ways as well. The day to day happenings such as this morning were just basic and not worth thinking twice about, yet still... I found myself wondering if she was alright, the girl in the parking lot.