The sound of screaming assaulted my ears, and it tore at my heartstring.
I was hunting in the woods a couple of 100miles from home, and I was alone. It was strange at all for me to be hunting so far out alone. I just felt the inexplicable need to come here and hunt. To be honest I wasn't even thirsty, we had been on a family hunting trip up to Denali, just two days ago. But still I had run the journey so far out, feeling the need to be here, you could almost call it a pull.
Now I could feel a wave of devastation washing through me, whatever was making such a tortured noise, had to be in pain, and the thought was agonizing me. I sped up weaving throughout the trees, feeling the pull grow stronger as the wailing got louder.
I stepped out into a beautiful clearing, only to be greeted by the most beautiful little creature I had ever seen, and caught the most beautiful scent ever to pass through the air.
I walked forwards slowly now, testing myself, but the overwhelming feeling that coursed through me wasn't the excitement of the monster within me. It was a need, a need to comfort the little angel, to wash all her grief away. I didn't want to frighten her though, most humans shy away from us, there instincts subconsciously telling them they are in danger. I stopped a few feet away from her, unsure of what I should do; I really didn't want her to feel worse. She looked so innocent wrapped in a little pink blanket, she had a lot of dark brown hair curly hair for a baby, her little feet seemed to be covered in a pink baby grow. I couldn't see her eyes, they were scrunched up and wet, she must be freezing, although the rain hadn't reached her in the undergrowth of the forest, the air was still cold. I cursed my self and my frigid skin in that moment, but I had to do something. The little thing seemed to sense she was not alone, she stopped crying and I was met with the most beautiful big brown eyes I had ever seen. She lifted up her arms towards me; she couldn't want me could she? When I hesitated it seemed to frustrate her, her little brow furrowed and she started to fidget, squeezing her palms, it almost seemed like she was beckoning me. I took off my jacket and bundled it up, but she was too impatient, she set out bawling again reaching out for me. I didn't mean to race forward so quickly, I was intending on behaving human so as to not scare her, but as soon as I heard her discomfort I was pulled forward involuntary. I lifted her into my arms and wrapped my jacket around her, just keeping her little face exposed to the wind. She stopped crying immediately, and looked up at me again, her eyes brightened a little and she offered me a small little smile, her chubby cheeks lifting slightly before she started to cough. I was worried at that, I didn't know how long she'd been out here, I needed to get her to Carlisle at the hospital, maybe then we could find out where she belonged. I couldn't understand how she'd ended up this far away form any civilisation. Her parents must be missing her, at the thought of having to give her up to them my dead heart seemed to ache. It felt wrong to think about being away from her, I pushed the thought away, that wasn't my priority now, I shouldn't worry about my own selfish needs, I just had to make sure the beautiful baby was okay.
I cradled her in my arms as softly as I could, and it looked like she took comfort in that, snuggling her little face into my jacket and shutting her eyes, her mouth opened for the smallest amount of time and she let out a tiny yawn. Mesmerised into watching her I forgot I ought to be setting off to Carlisle, I set off running towards him, keeping her tucked into my chest so the wind couldn't touch her face, thanking the heavens for my hearing, the fluttering of her heart let me know she was still okay. Up until that point I hadn't really realised that I couldn't hear her thoughts, I assumed then that it was just because she was a baby, and so distressed that she was in shock, I sped up a little with that. I didn't want her to be in shock.
I called in such a low voice that only he could here me, I could hear his thoughts, and he was speaking to a patient. I didn't want to walk through the hospital doors with a baby bundled up in a jacket; the Cullen's were already seen as strange, I didn't want this adding to the list. Instead I quickly scanned the car park area to check the cost was clear, and then jumped up to Carlisle's office widow, holding the little girl safely in one arm.
"Edward?" Carlisle, called to me in his mind. 'I'm just with a patient, I'll be with you as soon as I can, is everything okay?" His thoughts sounded a little worried.
"It's fine I think, I'm in your office, I need your help with something" I hurriedly whispered back to him. I unwrapped my jacket from the little beauty in my arms and she stirred, grabbing my shirt in her hands with feather light strength and clinging to me. The fact that she wanted me so close to her brought a smile to my lips, I reached down to brush the little curls of hair away from her face and was shocked when her thoughts burst into my mind.
I pulled my hands away from her skin. It wasn't as if she was thinking the actually word, it's more like she was claiming me as hers, it was a possessive edge. I put my finger into her palm and she grabbed on tightly. The thoughts shot straight back to me, although this time she was happy and content with the way I smelled.
I couldn't work out her thoughts directly, they were fuzzy, I assumed it was because she was tired. Or at least that's what I was thinking to reassure myself, I didn't wasn't to think that something was wrong with her, and the fact that I thought that worried me even more.
"Edward" Carlisle had walked in and gasped my name out loud in shock, right I did have a baby in my hands. His thoughts were running frantic.
"I don't understand son, why do you have her? Who is she? Hmmm?? Her skin looks a little pale.."
At that I jolted out of his thoughts,
"Carlisle, you have to take a look at her, I found her in the freezing forest alone, miles away, she was coughing, is she okay?" I reluctantly gave him the sweet little girl, and my arms felt extremely light, as if something was missing.
"She seems okay, no temperature.."
As I was listening to his thoughts the babies eyes shot open, she noticed that she was no longer in my arms and I could feel the tears coming before they leaked out of her eyes. Her arms once again reached out for me, her terrible little scream reached my ears.
"Edward, she must be in pain, I don't really understand what's wrong with her."
Instantly I knew what was wrong with her, I reached out and took her out of Carlisle's arms, pulling her into my chest. She attached her little hands onto the collar of my shirt and hid her face in my neck.
"Wow I've never seen humans so calm around us; she seems soothed by you Edward."
"Carlisle". I whispered, I didn't want to startle my little angel again. "I can't here her thoughts, not unless her skin comes into contact with mine. The first time was when I climbed into the window, and she was feeling a strong sense of possessiveness towards me."
"That's not really a strange thing Edward, you rescued her when she was alone, and scared, you probably mad her feel safe, sort of like a security blanket, as to why you can't hear her I'm not 100% sure."
I knew what Carlisle was saying to me made a lot of sense, but I couldn't fully accept that was the reason she was soothed by me. I felt soothed by her too, like I was content, and that worried me. She was a human baby, and she needed to go back to her parents. Just as my thoughts were taking a turn into despair, her hand brushed against my neck, her thoughts were happy and content too, now that she was back in my arms. Although there was still a deep sense of sadness where she remembered being pulled away from me.
"It's okay little one" I cooed to her. I cooed? I couldn't suppress the overwhelming need to reassure her doubts, I didn't want her hurting. It was hurting me too. "I won't let you go again". In her thoughts my voice relaxed her, the sadness leaking away, I felt proud at that, this little beautiful creature was happy, because of me.
"Edward just keep her happy for a while, maybe if you're distracting her she will let me examine her and we can see if she's okay"
Carlisle's thoughts were clear in my mind as he started to move towards the baby and me. I stroked my finger down her little cheek and she grabbed my finger in her whole chubby fist and pulled it towards her mouth. It seemed she was hungry, I felt her gums chomp down on my finger. Her thoughts were showing me that she was pleased by the way I tasted, and although she could feel Carlisle round her again, she didn't really care, she knew I wouldn't let him harm her. It was odd that she thought this, however completely true it was, she knew I would protect her and it made her feel safe.
Carlisle thoughts were medically acknowledging the little baby's height and he was wondering if we ought to weigh her, see if she was underfed.
"Carlisle?" I asked. He stopped his analysing and his head shot up to look at what was causing my anxious tone.
"What will she want to eat, I'm sure she's hungry, I can practically count the few little teeth she's got coming through with the way she's biting on my finger." I spoke to him. I didn't want her to be hungry, who knows how long she'd been out there.
"That's not why she's biting on your finger Edward; it will be soothing for her while she's teething, especially with your finger being as cold as it is."
He mentally chuckled at me, wondering why I didn't work that out with all my medical knowledge.
I didn't really care why she was doing it, now I was worried again about her being in pain over her little baby teeth. Carlisle must have noticed my face drop, because he thought,
"I'll go and see what I can find" and he was out of the door. He wasn't the only one who noticed my face drop, the baby, bit down with what must have been all her strength, then looked up at me and giggled.
At her little giggle my dead heart filled with emotion, I wanted to hear that sound again and again. It was the most beautiful little sound my experienced mind had ever heard.
My face lit up, and she pushed her palm into my cheek, her thoughts were, almost smug, and heart warmingly happy. It seemed like she was radiating my feelings.
"My, my, my" she chanted, in a squeaky little bell like voice, whilst patting my cheek.
I froze, she just spoke, my little angel, no I can't think them thoughts. Why though? She was thinking the same. She was even voicing her thoughts. She started to squirm in my arms, scraping her little feet up my chest trying to stand up.
I pulled out Carlisle chair and sat down, holding her arms to keep her stable. I didn't want her to fall over and get hurt. I couldn't understand how she could already have got through so much bad luck. Stranded alone in the freezing forest, found by a vampire mid-hunt. She needed someone to look after her, I liked that idea, almost a little too much.
I settled her little covered toes on my knees and she pushed herself up.
"Do you need me to look after you little one?" I asked her. She bounced her legs, walking a little closer to me, I supported all her weight in my hands and her balance became steadier.
She giggled again, her eyes shimmering,
"Is that a yes? Little girlie." There I was cooing. Again. She bounced her legs on my knees whilst clutching my arms.
"My, my, mine" She uttered again, the little thing was very possessive.
"I see what you mean Edward". Carlisle walked back in the room. "She does really feel like you're hers." Carlisle looked amused at our position and I felt a little self conscious. I quick stood up, pulling the baby with me. That's when I heard the thoughts.
"It was a pretty serious bear attack, there's no wonder they didn't survive. I don't understand why they were so far out, miles away from home."
It was one of the surgeons at the hospital; he was sat in his office filling out some paper work on patients. He was imaging a man and a woman, in a pretty bad shape. Although I could still make out their faces in his mind, and that's what had caught my attention. A woman, with the same features as the baby desperately clinging at my arms, and a man, with the same curly brown hair. Oh no, they were her parents, they had to be, as if to confirm my suspicions the man was remembering the place they had been found, it was less than half a mile from where I'd found the baby. How had they missed her?
"Carlisle, I think her parents are here" I whispered to him. I didn't know why I was whispering, it's not like she could understand.
"How can you know? Can you hear there thoughts? Are they looking for her?" His words just washed over my head. I felt anguish for the little girl in my arms, her parents were gone, who did she have now?
"No Carlisle, they're dead. I can hear the Doctor's thoughts a few floors away." I was still whispering.
"They were brought from the same forest I found the baby in, not far away from her, they'd been attacked by a bear, she looks so much like them." I pulled the sweet little girl closer to my chest almost to protect her from the truth she didn't know.
Carlisle stood up immediately again,
"Here" he said. He handed me a bottle filled with sloshy white liquid.
"I know she can eat baby food now but this was the easiest thing I could find. I borrowed this from the children's ward, she needs some sustenance. I'll go and see what I can find out". He was out of the door before I could protest. I should have gone; I can hear thoughts, find out more. Although if I concentrated hard enough, I could hear them from here, and in all honestly I didn't want to put the baby down, she needed me.
I laid her head in the crook at my elbow and sat back down again.
"Are you hungry little missy?" I asked her whilst pick up the bottle from Carlisle's desk. Next to it I noticed a little pacifier and a bottle of soothing gel, for teething gums. I smiled at Carlisle's compassion.
"We better get you some nourishment hadn't we?" I asked her putting the bottle to her lips. She started sucking greedily on it. She must have been hungry. I held the bottle steady wondering how she could possibly be enjoying something that smelt so sour, but if it gave her the vital things she needed I didn't care one little bit. After a while her hands dropped from the bottle and her eyes started to droop a little, there was still a bit of the baby formula left though, and she was still suckling it so I kept the bottle tilted to her mouth.
I tried to listen to where Carlisle was, I could pick out his thoughts, down with the Doctor who was thinking of the baby's parents.
Carlisle was asking about her parents, he said that someone had brought a baby in from the same forest and she was his patient. I heard him asking for their medical records.
I looked down at the beauty in my arms, the bottle was empty and her eyes were droopy, I put a little of the gel on the end of the pacifier and popped it in her mouth.
She looked so peaceful in my arms, I stoked my finger down her cheek, and instantly my face popped up in her thoughts, she was dreaming of me. There was a happy satisfied tone to the image. It suddenly shifted to the man and woman who I had seen, it was her parents, she was dreaming of them, and it was covered with tension and worry. No, no my little angel was worried, she wanted her parents, but they were gone. I rocked gently backwards and forwards on the chair, as if to shake her worries away. I stroked down her cheek again, hmmm it seemed she liked that, her thoughts became content.
Carlisle walked back in the door his thoughts were a little shocked.
"I've never seen him look so content, at peace with himself, there's no tension him at all." I chose to ignore that, of course there was no tension in my body, I was holding a tiny, fragile little baby in my arms, one wrong move and I could crush her.
"What did you find out Carlisle?" I asked him, I wanted to know the future the little girl was about to face.
"Well here take a look" Carlisle said whilst handing me three sets of medical records.
The first was a man Charlie Swan, there was a report on his death slipped in the front, the address on the front said Phoenix; well they certainly were far away from home. The second was a woman René Swan, I flipped through her medical records, and she had been in almost a year ago to give birth to a little girl. Lastly I flipped open the last set of documents, Isabella Marie Swan, a little girl, born on the 13th September. It was the 1st of September not even two weeks and she would be 1 year old, wow she was tiny for a 1 year old. Daughter of Charlie and René Swan the two that had been dead not even 48 hours. I could hear the thoughts of the Doctor floors away thinking of little Isabella,
"Bella" I murmured.
She was beautiful, little beautiful Bella.
It seemed that it was up to him what happened to the girl, he wasn't sure if Charlie and René had anymore family.
"Carlisle" I uttered, "Why don't you suggest to Doctor Newrick that we take Bella home for the weekend, at least until he can locate more of her family"
"Edward I'm not sure that's a great idea for her, I know she's only young but being in a house full of Vampires acting odd might have the wrong impact on her. I know she feel's safe around you but what about the rest of us. Think of Jasper" He mentally voiced all the concerns that I knew I ought to be thinking of, but I just wasn't ready to let her go.
"I know Carlisle, but I don't want to leave her in the hospital all weekend, she needs me, she feels safe with me. I'll take her somewhere else, I wont come home please" I had resorted to pleading with him now.
"Okay Edward I can see your determined, but don't be silly, if you need to help her, we will all do it as a family".
"Thank you Carlisle, I'll meet you at home" I stood with Bella.
"Take the car Edward, I'm sure Alice has seen this and warned the family, so I will meet you home after my shift" I nodded to him and headed out the door towards the parking lot.