I was in Canada, hunting. Carlisle was with me- I hadn't felt safe going with anyone but him since "the incident"- well, truthfully, it was a long chain of incidents. All the more reason to hunt only deep in the forest, with Carlisle, in the dead of the night.
About ten years ago, I'd left Carlisle and made a dramatic change in my diet. Over those years, I had probably killed over a hundred people. It pained me to think of it. Despite my struggled attempts at self-justification, and the assurances from Carlisle and Esme that I shouldn't blame myself, I knew that I was a monster and a murderer.
"Edward," cautioned Carlisle, holding an arm out and scanning the forest with his dull topaz eyes. (Mine were still a fiery orange-red.) I hadn't caught the scent when he'd warned me, but now I did. It confused me. Not quite human, but not quite animal- something in between.
"What is that?" I gasped.
"A werewolf," he answered, his eyes full of bewilderment.
"From La Push?" I asked, perplexed.
"No," he replied, his voice full of wonder. "A real Child of the Moon." I looked around, searching for the creature, and then it was upon us- four feet and five inches of snarling, rabid werewolf girl. I saw enough of her to tell that she was in her human form, but hungry. The Carlisle restrained her. "Who are you?" he demanded, holding her up against a tree. She only growled in response.
"Carlisle, just let her hunt," I suggested, worried that a larger pack might be searching for her.
"Can you read her mind?" he asked curiously. Slightly unsure, I dipped into her thoughts.
Blood, rip, tear, food. Blood. Meat, food. Kill, food, blood.
"Carlisle, she's crazy with hunger."
"Catch something, then!" he replied in a strained voice. He seemed needlessly attached to communicating with her, but I obeyed him. His intentions, I'm sure, would be clear later.
It didn't take long to collect and wound a deer, and it took even less time for her to fall upon the animal, kill it, and consume every bit of meat clinging to its flimsy bones. I listened to her thoughts once again.
Men, bloodsuckers, I don't like them. What are they going to do?
"We aren't going to hurt you," I told her calmly.
Lies, they're killers.
"She thinks we're going to kill her," I muttered to Carlisle. He kneeled in front of her.
"What is your name?" he asked gently. She slid away from him.
"Alice," I whispered to Carlisle.
"What are you doing?" she shrieked, speaking for the first time. "Who are you, how do you know my name?"
"My son is a mind-reader," explained Carlisle, "but he won't read your mind any longer, if it disturbs you." She nodded. "Now, would you like to tell me what your name is?" he asked, still calm.
"A- Mary. Mary Brandon." Either Carlisle hadn't noticed the change, which was very unlikely, or he didn't want to agitate her.
"Mary," began Carlisle, "I know of a place where you would be very happy." He did? "There is a small pack of shape-shifters- sort of like werewolves- who would be happy to take care of you."
"Carlisle," I warned in a low voice. "What are you doing?"
"That sounds nice," answered Mary before Carlisle could take it back. I could tell that she still didn't trust us, but she let Carlisle pick her up off the ground.
"Come on," he said quietly, and as I trailed along behind them, I couldn't help but thinking that this lone wolf was the beginning of a change in my monstrous life.