Disclaimer: Of course, I own nothing... All accolades go to the wonderful Stephenie Meyer
A/N: This is just a little one-shot that was begging to be posted.
As she inhaled the clean forest air, she closed her eyes and smiled. The scent of the animal filled her senses with a longing akin to a dying man's wish to have just one more day as he faces down his death just moments away. As the muted light of the sun filtered down to the forest floor, a light breeze fluttered through the old trees of the forest and lifted the stands of her long mahogany hair into a gentle dance around her head.
She was not aware that another one of her kind watched her. Situated in the canopy of the trees, he relished in the tranquil silence the forest was offering him when he saw her stop in the small clearing below. He was careful to stay downwind, making no sound. He watched her in fascination, as she tasted the moist woody air, the skirt of her midnight blue sleeveless dress swirled around the thighs of her long legs. Her intoxicating scent mixed with the smells of the forest and the fainter scent of the animal she hunted. The potpourri of smells hung on the breeze that blew into him before it overpowered all of his other senses.
Her hair plunged down her slender back in undulating waves to her tiny waist and tumbled forward off her shoulders as she leaned forward in the breeze. She shifted to the balls of her bare feet. A low rumble rose from her throat before she sprang forward and sprinted off into the direction of her quarry. Her run was swift and agile as she silently darted through the forest, leaving no footprints to follow. She ran like a predator, tasting the scent of her prey in the air as she ran, unaware that another stalked her like a prize. Making certain he was too far away to be heard while she ran, he pursued her scent as she tracked the object of her hunger.
The scent of the animal became potent, causing her throat to ache for the release her kill would bring – quenching the hunger of her inner monster, but never fully satisfying it. She slowed her sprint to a gentle lope, nearing her destination. He matched her movements from behind, careful not to alert her to his presence. In the distance, she could see a clearing, a meadow where her hunger would fulfill its need. She slowed even more as she neared the edge of the meadow and lowered herself into a low crouch as she scanned the surrounding forest with her pitch black eyes.
He came to a stop at a considerable distance behind her, partially obscured by a tree. His eyes still able to see her, watch her every move. His curiosity was urging him forward to get a better look at the predator tracking her next victim. He wanted a better look having been denied a view of her face. Instead he waited patiently until she moved, hoping the sound would mask his own movements. Suddenly her head twitched to the right and she lowered her body closer to the ground as she prepared to pounce. He could see the muscles of her bare arms and calves coil like a spring before she leapt.
As her body left the ground, he flew into action at a speed considered impressive even for their kind. He was at the edge of clearing before she landed on her prey. He watched in awe at the sight of her glorious body gracefully arched in the air with her mahogany hair flared out wildly from her head before coming down with inhuman force on the life that was lounging in the warm afternoon sun. She pinned the animal to the ground with such grace and agility; one would have thought she was dancing. In one silent swift move, the animal was in her arms.
She turned to face him as she held the struggling animal that was unable to break free from her iron grasp. Her big wild black eyes narrowed as they bored into his as one side of her mouth raised in a crooked smile. She slowly brought the screaming flailing animal's pulsating neck to her full red lips before slowly opened her mouth wide to taste. She sunk her teeth into her victim and began sucking the lifeblood, her gaze never wavering from his topaz eyes.
He watched her as a blind man watches a sunrise for the first time with perfectly healed eyes. He froze like a statue as he took in the beauty of her face as she fed. Her alabaster skin sparkled like diamonds in the bright sun, bathing her heart-shaped face in a halo of light. A strand of mahogany hair blew across the high cheekbone of her face, before she closed her eyes, bringing impossibly long eyelashes down to rest against the smooth skin of her cheeks. She gripped the animal closer to her body milking the warm blood of the animal. He found it completely mesmerizing watching her as she completely let the monster in her relish the last drop of her meal. She threw back her head as a satisfied guttural growl rippled through her chest signaling the end of her meal and assuaging the monster for now.
She brought her head back down and loosened her grip on the lifeless body in her arms before she opened her eyes and looked at him. His bronze hair flirting with the wind as it tousled it around his head and across his pale forehead. He stared at her intently through his long eyelashes. His high cheekbones, straight nose and strong jaw gave him superior advantages in attracting the prey of their kind. The fact that his lean muscular body was toned and coiled to spring at any moment was evident even through the light fabric of his burgundy button down shirt and tan trousers.
She relaxed as the monster subsided, purring in satisfaction. She tossed her dead prey to the side without a second glance and slowly straightened her dress. She cocked her head to the side in a show of curiosity as she watched him. Slowly she started towards him and he moved back infinitesimally, but held his ground. She continued her advance on his position as he stood there, locked in her gaze like a python traps a field mouse in its hypnotic trance; a drop of blood slowly ran from the corner of her mouth.
Her advance quickened as she drew closer to him, but was suddenly halted as he let loose a feral growl and closed the distance between them. The sun bounced off their skin reflecting back towards each other from the close proximity of their bodies in the bright light of the sun. The vibrant colors of the wild flowers carpeting the floor of the meadow in an attempt to worship the life-giving force of the sun mingled with the reflected light coming off their iridescent glittering skin.
They stopped short of each other, their bodies only inches apart before they inhaled deeply, and taking in each other's scent. He looked into her eyes and watched the color slowly melt from coal black to soft topaz before he roughly grabbed her face between her hands and brought his mouth down to hers, stopping within half an inch. She growled a low warning as her hands flew up to his shoulders and gripped them hard. He closed his eyes and inhaled one more time.
"Mountain lion," He hummed as he released one of the hands on the side of her face to capture the drop of blood on his forefinger as it made its way down to the side of her chin. He brought his finger up and placed it in his mouth to taste it, resulting in a low purr rumbling at the back of his throat. She licked the rest of the blood off the corner of her mouth before pushing his back up against the trunk of a tree with such force, the tree shuddered in response. The look she gave him told him she was hurling insults at him in her mind that he could never hear.
They faced off snarling at each other before she released his shoulders and stalked away. However, before she could get more than five steps away, he leapt forward grabbing her hand with his. He swung her around and into his arms holding her tightly to his chest as she struggled to free herself. After a few moments, she went still, her lips set in a hard line as she glowered darkly at his slightly amused face. She watched his expression change as his growing desire for her burned away the amusement in his eyes changing them to smoldering fire burning for her. She could feel his desire for her. She could feel her want for him spread like a flame as it welled up from the pit of her stomach.
He stared into her face as the look in her eyes changed from anger to angry desire and the two emotions struggled for dominance. He lowered his head slowing to her upturned face, gauging her reaction to determine the reception he would receive.
"Don't do this," she whispered almost in defeat and her anger melted into immense heartache. The look in her eyes brought him up short as he stopped just inches of his intended kiss.
"Please," he almost begged. "I can't deny this anymore." The pain in his eyes mirrored her own, knowing they could not have the one thing in their immortal existence that they craved more than blood.
"Neither can I," she said as she stroked his face. "But we have to; you know we can't do this. You know the consequences," her voice breaking with undeniable pain.
"I know they can try, but that doesn't mean they'll succeed," he growled fiercely and his eyes bored into her. "We could run, hide. We could be happy." His voice rang with determination.
"Never to see our family again," she gasp shaking her head. "And what about their happiness? Do we sacrifice theirs for ours?"
"I know that the depth of their feelings for us don't come close to what we feel for each other." He pinched the bridge of his nose with is thumb and forefinger as he recalled reading their thoughts and emotions in their minds.
"We've made our choice. How can we do this without breaking them?" Her voice broke as a suppressed sob attempted to rack her body.
"We made those choices before me met! If I had known I could feel this way about anyone, I would have lived an eternity of loneliness for one moment with you." His eyes were saddened, but still held to his earlier determination to find a way.
"How can you stand there and tell me you can break her heart? Do you think I can bear to break his?" She almost yelled in anger at herself, at him, at the horrible hand fate had dealt them. He sighed in resignation. Knowing she was right did not make it any easier.
"I don't know how much longer I can go on like this. We have been stuck in this emotional wasteland for years. It's unbearable living in the same house with you, acting as if you are my sister, unable to have you. Unable to be happy, acting like everything is okay and pretending to love another!" He was in physical pain while his eyes glistened with the tears he could never shed.
She bit her bottom lip trying to hold back the tide of sobs shaking her body as her sadness engulfed her body. He pulled her closer, burying his head in the crook her neck as she sobbed uncontrollably into his chest. His sobs matched her as they let their heartbreak consume them for a time.
As they slowly pulled apart, they gazed longingly into each other's eyes trying to convey the depth of their love for each other before they had to go back to pretending theirs was a platonic love. They stepped away from each other, connected only by the fingers of one of his hands entwined with one of hers. As they continued to distance their bodies, their hands stayed connected until their arms were outstretched, barely touching – neither one wanting to break the connection. With every step apart, their hearts broke a little more, craving each other's arms.
"I love you, Edward," she whispered sadly her heart ripping apart from the declaration she could not deny. She knew this would only bring more heartache, affirming her love for one she could not have or publically acknowledge.
"I love you, Bella," he replied equally saddened, knowing their love would never be fully realized. His desire to love her for their eternal existence was overshadowed by the immense agony gripping his body.
Bella looked into his topaz eyes one last time and then she was gone – trying to outrun the pain that pursued her. Trying to find the strength within her to make herself return to the one she only pretended to love. In the distance she hear Edward's cry of pain and she cried out her pain answering his. He collapsed to his knees, holding his head in his hands as he rocked back and forth trying to find some comfort. He jumped up and let his legs carry him away. He ran trying to escape as the demons of a shattered life relentlessly pursued him.
Quicker than she realized, Bella found herself approaching the last place she wanted to be. After regaining her composure and putting up the walls to mask her pain, Bella walked into the large white house she called home. She checked herself in the mirror in the foyer, making certain there was no trace of her encounter with him. The reflection that stared back at her was one of glorious beauty. She had flawless alabaster skin, thick rich hair tousled from her frantic run in the woods, full red lips, high cheekbones, and a slender perfect body. Her long lashes framed her honey-colored eyes that were vacant and hollow, devoid of all emotion. She walked into the great room to see Emmett sitting on the couch talking to her sister. Emmett had an overgrown boyish charm to his looks with dark curly hair and the body of a weight lifter.
"How's my beautiful Bella!" Emmett jumped off the couch and pulled her into a loving embrace, kissing her soundly on the mouth.
"Wonderful, sweetheart." Bella feigned a happiness to see her mate she was nowhere near to feeling.
"Bella. Did you see Edward while you were out hunting?" Rosalie asked coolly as she turned to Bella. Rosalie had always been jealous of Bella's beauty and of Edward's sisterly fondness for her. Rosalie was tall and statuesque with the body and face of a super-model. She had the same flawless alabaster skin and yellow eyes as the others in the room. Her exquisite face featured high cheek bones and full lips that were set on pucker and was framed in long golden hair that spilled down her back in lose spirally curls.
"Sorry, I didn't know he was out," Bella offered just as the front door opened and Edward walked into the room, hair windblown from his flight through the forest. His beauty rivaled that of Bella's with the same alabaster skin. He was Adonis personified with chiseled features, bronze-colored hair that always seemed to fall in a stylized mess around his head, and the lithe muscular body of a predator. His perfect lips were set in a forced smile while his topaz eyes held the same vacant and hollow look as Bella.
"I'm here Rose," Edward answered Rosalie's question as he crossed the room and kissed her. Edward glanced up at Bella, just catching a glimpse of the over-powering pain in the depths of her soul. She quickly concealed the pain with that familiar vacant look.
It was like this every time one of them went hunting alone. The other would follow and watch. The only time they could be alone together, profess their love, share their pain and try to comfort each other. That is how they lived their life – vacant and hollow.
A/N: Please R&R. Let me know if you like it. It's my first attempt at writing in third person.