A.N. This story takes place between New Moon and Eclipse. This is my first fanfic, so let me know how it is!
* * *
She was flying. Her hair flew out behind her and the brisk air whipped by her face. Her arms were spread wide; she fanned out her fingers and felt them slice through the air as she soared. She looked down and saw the sprawling landscape of Forks below her. She smiled as she caught sight of her house. She felt a tightening around her waist and realized there was a pair of arms wrapped around her. Pale, ice-cold arms. Edward's arms. She wasn't flying; Edward was. He was just carrying her along. She twisted to look at him and was struck by his overwhelming beauty. He just looked back at her without a word, smiling serenely. She felt his arms begin to loosen. She grabbed at them, crying out for him to hold on to her tighter, but his arms kept pulling away. She felt herself slipping away from him; she looked up at him in panic and found him gazing back with the same unfaltering smile. He let go and she began to fall quickly. The ground was fast approaching. The houses that had seemed so miniature from above were getting larger and larger. She tried to scream but could not produce any sound. She was seconds from hitting the ground. This was it…
She was jerked from her dream by the sound of her name and the gentle grip of a cold, hard hand on her arm.
"Edward," she murmured, rolling over to face him. "I was having the strangest dream."
She shivered; a cold sweat was covering her body. She knew her dream had been frightening, but the details slipped away as she tried to hold on to them like sand slipping through her fingers. She looked at Edward, but could only see his silhouette. He looked different.
"Bella," he said, and she noticed that his voice was different too. Anxious. Hesitant.
The realization hit her like a brick in the head. It wasn't Edward.
Before she could stand, run or scream, there was one ice-cold hand holding her still and another covering her mouth.
"Bella, I'm sorry for surprising you like this, but please don't scream," the voice wasn't Edward's, but it was familiar. She strained to look through the darkness of her bedroom, and realized that it was Carlisle Cullen standing in front of her, holding her still.
He released his grip from her waist and removed his hand from over her mouth.
"Carlisle… what are you doing here?" she was bewildered. She could not think of a single explanation as to why this man was standing in her room in the middle of the night.
"Do you trust me?" His face was dead serious. He had an expression that she couldn't quite place, but it made her uneasy.
"I… I…" Bella didn't know what to make of this. Something strange was going on. For Carlisle's face to have lost the comforting hint of a smile it always carried, it had to be something significant. But as she looked into his eyes, she somehow felt reassured. "Yes, I trust you."
"You need to come with me," he said, his voice lacking the melodic quality that she had always found so soothing. "Everything has changed."
"What? What are you talking about? What happened?" She stood up.
"Bella, I don't have time to explain. I need to you trust me, and I need you to come with me right now." He held out his hand.
A thousand questions were buzzing through her mind. Above all, she worried that something had happened to Edward. She felt her stomach drop at the thought. If Carlisle was this serious, it must be imperative for her to go with him, and quickly. She had every reason to trust him. She took a deep breath, and took his hand. He immediately pulled her onto his back and they leapt gracefully out the open window, away into the night.
She clung tightly to his chest as he ran, faster than she had ever moved before. She was briefly reminded of the sensation of flying she had experienced in her dream, but the feeling quickly passed. She wanted to ask him what was happening and where they were going, but refrained. She knew she would find out soon enough.
* * *
"Where are we?" Bella whispered. They had finally stopped running after what seemed like an eternity. She looked around and saw mountains.
"Canada," he replied, his voice somber.
"What?!" She was stunned. "Why?!"
He sighed. "We had to go far, far away. We need to go further still, but I feel that I owe you an explanation."
She stared at him. That was an understatement.
"I don't know exactly what happened," he said, sounding both hesitant and upset. "I was hunting by myself, far from Forks. I came home and… well, everyone was gone."
"What? What do you mean 'gone'?"
"There was a struggle. The house was destroyed."
"Who…?" Bella was at a loss of words. What had happened to Edward?
"I picked up a lot of different scents. They were overwhelmed by many powerful vampires."
Bella felt tears welling in her eyes.
Carlisle sighed. "It gets worse. I could only recognize one of the scents but… it was Victoria."
"Carlisle," she said slowly, "What did you mean when you said that they're 'gone'?"
"They weren't killed; I would have picked up on that," he said, as Bella breathed a sigh of relief. "But I believe they were taken. By Victoria, in addition to several very old and powerful vampires. I don't know where, and I don't know why, but I know that you're not safe in Forks."
He looked off into the distance, staring at something unseen. Sadness enveloped his face. She had never seen him look like this.
"Carlisle," she said, as she placed her hand on top of hers. "I'm so sorry."
"Why?" He asked, genuinely bewildered.
"This is all my fault. Your family has been taken because of me."
"This is not your fault at all, Bella," he said sharply. "I feel absolutely terrible that you've been dragged into it. I should be apologizing to you."
She thought of Edward, and pictured him helplessly chained in a basement while Victoria stood above him cackling hysterically. Her stomach dropped again. "What can we do?"
"We need to keep moving now," Carlisle said. "Her scent was outside your house. She's been staking you out for a while. I don't understand though; if killing you was her plan, why wait so long?"
The thought of Victoria perched outside her house, watching, listening, waiting – it was sickening.
He must have seen the look on her face.
"Bella, don't worry. I'm going to do everything I possibly can to find my family. And I promise you, I will do everything in my power to keep you safe." He took her hand.
She gently squeezed it. "Thank you. I trust you. I… I feel safe with you."
He smiled wearily. "We need to keep moving. We need to stay ahead of her, and make sure she doesn't catch our scent. Are you ready?"
She had barely uttered the word 'yes' before he had whisked her onto his back and they were running again.