Thanks again for all your comments – it seems like people are liking the story so far so I'm gonna keep going with it! Yey!
All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer – lucky her!!
Chapter 3: Fight of Flight
Three days had passed.
72 hours since I had made a choice. The choice.
To stop denying what I am and do what needed to be done.
I had killed a man.
A man in the loosest possible sense of the word. He was as much a monster as I. But unlike me he was proud of the destruction he had caused to the lives of much weaker individuals. He had gloated, felt satisfied with the way he dominated others, enjoyed the satisfaction of seeing fear in the eyes of the people that he hunted. So I had turned the tables. Made him feel fear, made him beg for mercy and ignored it for my own gains, taking what my body wanted and discarding his lifeless body like a dry chicken bone.
I had left his body in the park, after making it look like he had been the victim of a mugging gone awry – it happens all the time – no one would think any different, why would they? Vampires don't exist, right?
I had stayed in the park till sunrise, replaying in my head what I had done over and over. Reliving the unbelievable sensations that I'd felt as the blood had invaded my body, slithering into every part of my vampire core, making me feel fierce, strong and so far removed from human that I didn't recognise one part of myself. I couldn't deny that I felt satisfied, not through the means in which I got what I needed, but through the blood itself. I felt calm almost whole and, truthfully, it scared me to death.
How would I ever be able to go back to hunting animals, knowing the taste of human blood? How could I deny my body ever again after letting it rejoice in the dark, rich liquid that I'd refused for so long? How would I ever look at Carlisle again, knowing what I did, knowing that I had gone against everything that he had taught me and stood for?
After considering all the options that were open to me I realised, as I watched the grey snow clouds over the city become lighter, that the answer was simple.
I had made my choice and I had to live with it. Face what I was and what I needed and find peace with it. Carlisle would have to understand that I couldn't follow his lead anymore. I wasn't and never would be as strong as he is, to live a life abstaining from the one thing that my body craved the most and now that I had experienced what it was like first hand I knew, deep down, that there was no going back.
So I hadn't. I had roamed the dark streets of Chicago, retreating into attics and abandoned buildings when the sun chose to shine, hiding away so that my skin would not defy me by exposing my true self.
Creeping and skulking around I had begun to learn more about how my body could really move. My muscles felt firmer, tighter, my bones felt solid even more indestructible than before. I was becoming fascinated by how very silent and still I could really be, it seemed that by relinquishing my body to human blood it had woken the more subtle vampire facets of myself and I felt powerful. I seemed faster, stronger, more in tune with my mind reading, hearing internal voices at distances I never knew I was capable of, even allowing myself to relax slightly when I was hiding away, knowing that I would hear someone a long time before they even realised I was there.
It hit me late on the second day that I needed more. I had found my drug and I was addicted. I hated the taking of life, I hated that that was what I had to resort to, to get my fix, but I had no choice. I needed the high, the rush of feeling the blood take me over. I had handed the reigns of myself over to the darkness within me and there was no compromise. It needed blood.
I left the confines of the small, disused room through the broken window in which I had entered and jumped the four storeys to the ground below, my legs holding me, sturdy, bending with the impact that I barely registered. It was just dark and the streets had begun to empty. Yet the sounds of the city encased my head like a vice, a loud mixture of internal worries and external niceties.
I walked slowly taking in the scents that pummelled my chest, the dirt, grit and sweat of daily life. The smell of human food snaked around me from under the door of a café on the main street, making me wince at the sour, repugnant odours that resonated into my nose. I turned my head towards the café in disgust, trying to decipher what creature would happily eat food that had such an excruciating smell, feeling oddly nauseous.
And there he was.
He wasn't hard to find. I could hear his thoughts over everything else, dangerous, seething, vitriolic thoughts that were directed towards the woman in front of him. I stopped walking and leaned against the café's outside wall, seeing his expressions and actions towards her through her thoughts as if I had my face pressed up against the glass window of the café. Her thoughts were frightened, upset but endearingly angry. She was not a weak person and she was determined that he wouldn't see her fear.
Don't cry…don't let him see you cry Anna…
I smiled at the determination of her thoughts. She was afraid, that much was very clear through the scents that she was giving off but she would not let him see it.
Why…do I put up with this shit?
His thoughts on the other hand were becoming more and more impatient and eerily quiet, almost like he was becoming calm in the rage that he felt. I noticed my hands curling into tight fists in agitation.
As long as we stay in here he won't hurt me…keep him in here…don't let him get you outside…
Her determination was wavering as the tall man took a step towards her with eyes that appeared lifeless. 'Get your ass outside, now.' His voice was low and hostile, dripping with threat but no-one in the café noticed the danger that the woman was in. Only the vampire outside had noticed that.
I remained with my back pressed against the café wall as the young woman flung open the door, with him hot on her heels his hand wedged under hers, holding her so tight that the blood was struggling to get to her hand.
'I swear to God you say one more word and your life will not be worth shit! Do you understand me?' his face was inches from her, she struggled to free her arm from his grip but failed miserably. He was just too strong for her.
Her thoughts became erratic and confused, flitting from him making love to her to holding her down and taking her in a way no woman should be, his threats, his affairs, his slaps, the punches, the promises to never do it again and then the unbelievable sense of betrayal and hurt when he did. Overwhelming all of these was the complete and utter sense of loss. She had lost herself, the man she had once loved so very long ago and her self worth. Her once beautiful face was now aged and tired and desperately lonely.
'You're hurting me Will, let me go,' Her voice was starting to shake as she pulled from him again only to be pulled back to him his mouth against her ear.
'I'll show you hurt Anna, you have no fucking idea what I'm capable of,' her heart rate increased to a hard thrum and her breath left her mouth in small ragged groans of fear.
'Please Will…,' she breathed in almost a whisper, knowing that they had come to the point she was most afraid of, 'I'm sorry…,' he didn't let her finish, pulling her by the same arm over the road, towards the dark alley behind the Katz Theatre.
I pushed myself off the wall and followed, keeping my eyes on the couple as they disappeared into the darkness. I could see what he planned to do as he filed through his head, the best way to keep her quiet whist he had his violent, unyielding way with her. His blood pumped calmly around his body, its scent drifting back to me, flicking the switch inside me, luxuriant and warm, dark and plentiful. The venom began to spill into my mouth and I growled as my chest muscles stretched in anticipation.
I held back slightly watching from the shadows as he thrust her against the wall, a small squeak coming from her with the force of it.
'Please Will…don't please…,' her cries were stifled by his hand that clasped over her mouth and nose, the breath struggling to get through to her lungs. He felt her body tense in panic and his heart pumped harder, he was excited by it. I took a deep breath feeling his scent fill my lungs allowing the monster to rear up and take over. I walked silently towards the grappling pair as he pushed his hand under her skirt, hearing the ripping of fabrics reverberate off the alley walls.
She noticed me first, her eyes, full of terror looked to me fluttering with a sense of relief before she sensed that I was as dangerous as the man that held her. He noticed the direction her eyes had taken and turned around, never letting his hold loosen on her. His scent hit me again in his movement, snaking its way down into my body pushing the venom up, twisting the muscles; I closed my eyes at the sensation. His heart remained steadfast and strong almost calling to me with every beat. I moved another step towards them.
'Who the fuck are you?' I was surprised to notice that his voice never altered, he was simply angry that his intentions for the girl had been disturbed by a stranger.
I didn't answer, simply taking another step through the snow, letting the blood call and letting my body respond. He turned more to face me, still holding the girl with his hand on her face.
'Hey jerk-off, I said who the fuck are you?' I smiled then at his insult, his heart reacting immediately to the expression on my face, he swallowed and I watched as the pulse in his neck made the skin lift and drop like an elegant ballet, soft in its motion, repeating over and over. I was transfixed, my body like a coiled spring, my breathing fighting its way out of my mouth, through the venom into the cold air.
His hand went to his pocket and pulled out a swish-blade, the metal gleaming momentarily from the small light at the opposite end of the alley, the metal smelt cold and I instantly detected the scent of dried blood on its tip. I growled low in my chest.
'Look pal, you either walk away now and forget everything you have seen or I go to work on you with this,' he thrust the blade forward at me, his voice still showing no sign of the fear that was starting to creep around his body making his heart rate increase. I didn't move, I was waiting for my moment. It was close; I could sense it, my skin felt like it was coming alive with the electric tension that pin-balled around me.
'You've used that before haven't you?' my voice was low and soft, my eyes never leaving his as his thoughts flittered to a young short haired man doubled over in pain the same swish-blade embedded in his chest, it was then suddenly being ripped out, wiped and placed back in 'Will's' pocket with the same disregard for life as he was demonstrating now.
He paused looking at me with a sense of apprehension.
Is this guy a cop? I don't recognize him…how does he know…
'No I'm not a cop,' I answered his unspoken thought watching, almost in slow motion, as he dropped his hand that was pointing the knife three millimetres down.
That was the moment.
I dove at him grabbing the hand that held the knife and twisted it, feeling his grip release as his bone snapped. I slammed him against the alley wall, almost unconscious of the girl that remained against it, frozen in fear. I looked at her, growling under my breath, 'Go!' she had to leave, there was no knowing whether once I had killed him I wouldn't turn on her, as her scent had started to surrender itself to me also, goading me towards her. She breathed in quickly before looking at the man in my arms, stilled by my intense grip, picked up her bag and fled, never looking back.
I had drunk from him, cleansing myself in his blood, finding my need for it even more than the first, the violence in me erupted pushing him harder into the wall as my teeth sunk into the flesh of his neck, feeling his ribs give under the pressure of my chest against him. It was over quicker, my desire for the blood making me drink faster, growling as I felt the last drops dribble down my throat. It had all happened in 90 seconds.
Again the loneliness hit me as I let his body slide down the wall. But my body sang with the new strength it felt as the blood soaked into me from the inside. I felt angry, hostile, realising suddenly that the blood I was drinking must carry some of the feelings of the victims into me, becoming part of me. I pushed the thought away immediately; disgusted at the mere suggestion that I was anything like the repulsive and vile creatures that I had killed.
I stood for what seemed like an eternity looking down at the man who had bravely threatened me. I suddenly felt dizzy, not in the physical sense, but my thoughts and feelings were rushing in my head at such speed that I almost had to hold onto the wall. A horrifying thought had crept into my mind and I was helpless in stopping it at as it spread through my body like a disease.
What if I was like him? What if we were of the same breed? We were both killers, we both hunted weaker souls and both gained satisfaction from it. The man in the park suddenly appeared in my thoughts. He was a monster too, like the man in the alley, like me.
I shook my head to clear my thoughts –no I wasn't like them – they had an easier choice, they didn't have to kill people to survive, they did it because they were evil and loved having the power. But I too had felt powerful, and I had liked it. The feeling that my body had become an unstoppable force was one that I hadn't shied away from; I had almost embraced it, craving for more.
And I'd given in. I dropped my head glancing again at the evidence of my weakness, cold and still, my bite mark clear on his neck like a property stamp. My anger and frustration roared to the surface once again as I picked up the blade he had dropped and slammed it into his stomach; a miserable moan erupting from my mouth, he had become another victim of gang and knife violence.
I dropped to my knees feeling weak, the momentary high of the blood seemingly lost in the desperation that I felt. Why was it so hard? Why wasn't this simple? I'm a vampire, for crying out loud I need blood, this is who I am! I should feel better, content, grateful, I moaned again at the thought of Carlisle's face as he said these words. Eventually, my shoulders still heaving from my dry sobs, I rose to my feet, still confused by the unstable sensation in my legs, and set off running.
* * * *
I had been sat on the bench in the park looking up at the house since I had arrived 15 hours before. Three days since I'd made the choice and here I was back where I started. I saw Carlisle leave at 4am for his shift at the hospital, and Esme had left a couple of minutes later – hunting I assumed, there was plenty of wildlife in some of the bigger parks on the edges of the city and nearer the harbour. It wasn't long until she came back, surreptitiously glancing in my general direction, but never fully acknowledging me. They both knew I was here, they'd be able to smell me, if not see me.
I knew it would be at Carlisle's suggestion that she'd not talk to me. I knew she would want to, I knew that I wanted her to, but I also knew that I would never be able to look at them both in the same way. That I would be a disappointment to them. That Carlisle would feel responsible in some way. They would hide it of course, but I would forever know that I had let them down monumentally.
I pulled my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around them, closing my eyes imagining that it was Esme that held me, and then Carlisle, his face torn between love and regret. But I wasn't ready for Carlisle yet. I didn't know if I was ready to go back to him fully yet, I just knew that I wanted some comfort from my parents, without the guilt heaving itself over me. I pushed my head against my knees wondering when I had become so disgustingly selfish. I banged my head against my knee willing the answers to come to me in a moment of clarity.
But they never did.
I couldn't take it any more; I left the bench and ran to the back of the house, looking up at my bedroom window. I smiled weakly when I realised that they hadn't closed it, it remained open from when I had leapt from it, when I had snapped with the conflict within me. I looked around to see that the area was quiet, no voices could be heard, no scents. It was safe. I jumped from the ground, grabbing at the windowsill and slipped quietly back into my room.
I stood for a couple of seconds, my back to the room, knowing she was there, I'd smelt her the minute my feet touched the floor. I turned to face her, never lifting my eyes to hers. Esme was standing in the doorway hands clasped together under her chin, her face pained and ecstatic all at once. Her thoughts were silent, no judgement, no anger, just silence.
I finally let my eyes move to hers, instantly feeling like my legs were going to give way. 'Edward!' she whispered as she caught my face against her shoulder as I slumped to the floor, the realisation of the past three days gouging pieces out of me. I was a killer, I was selfish, and I had become a monster and enjoyed it. I knew all these things but more unbelievably I still didn't know if I could turn away from it, now that I had experienced it and come back to Carlisle and Esme, to come home and be their Edward again.
All the fear, anger, guilt and frustration continued to slam inside my head as I put my arms around my mother as tightly as I could and sobbed.
Oh poor Edward!
I wanted this chapter to be a little more violent (man in the alley) than the last one, to show Edward losing his grip on himself – hope that's ok?
I hope you like this – it's fairly dark and intense – but hey that's Edward!
Please leave me your thoughts in a little review, button is just there!
TTFN x x x x x x