Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters in that series. You know that, right?

EPOV

Always so predictable. The thoughts of thugs were always the same. Dark, shifting melodies of abuse and lust and greed and betrayal. You'd think those things- though unpleasant- would at least remain interesting. Hell, soap operas had milked those story lines for years on end. And viewers tuned to episodes of shows like COPS for exactly this kind of crap. But I was tired of it. About 90 years of hearing it second-hand and I'd had my fill.

But here, again, thinking very predictable thoughts, was another filthy excuse for a human being. When a vampire has that opinion of you, it's time to reconsider the way you're living. Too bad this piece of trash wouldn't get the chance.

I veered left into a dark alley. A dark alley- God, even that was cliché. I tried not to roll my eyes as his thoughts of mugging tinged with the possibility of another rape and murder assaulted my mind. He was hoping she'd scream- the dark haired, doe-eyed woman he was pressing a gun to. They all hope for screams, a little.

It registered on the periphery of my mind I wasn't hearing the usual frenzied thoughts from this damsel in distress. About now she should be thinking absurdly about ways to escape and wondering if this was really happening and what it was she'd learned from some TV show she should do in a situation like this-as if anyone could ever really prepare for this sort of thing. And while the hummingbird pace of her heart and the sweet scent of her fear permeated the atmosphere, I wasn't hearing the usual thoughts. Part of me wanted to ponder that a moment, but the greater part- the monster- was already in a crouch, ready to eat, and not really giving a shit about what my prey's intended prey was or was not thinking.

Sliding from the shadows, I allowed my victim (and his victim too- why was I still thinking about her?) to detect my presence. The man's thoughts startled, and he began calculating ways to kill me before going about his business with the young woman.

"Excuse me," I began, hearing the almost musical sound of my voice reverberate in the annoyingly cliché back alley.

"What'choo want? We don't got nothing we can do for you man," my friend, the criminal/poet laureate yelled, obviously intent on butchering the English language along with the young woman cowering against the brick wall.

"I was hoping we could discuss the importance of good citizenship and the benefits of avoiding double negatives, but have a sinking feeling I have the wrong man," I answered, appearing at his side just a bit too quickly. His instincts recognized a predator, and he reacted the way men of his nature often do, grabbing the closest defenseless thing and pointing a gun at it.

"Come any closer an' I'll blow 'er fucking head off,": the man stammered, trying to sound intimidating.

I rolled my eyes. "And…" I responded.

"And that shit's on you then man. It- it'll be like you pulled the trigger," he answered, clearly nervous now. "Bitch's blood's on your hands."

"A lot of blood is on my hands," I said darkly, and I could tell he knew at once it was true.

The man faltered, mentally trying to calculate how far and how fast he could run. Realizing he was trapped, he instead decided to turn the gun on me, while damsel in distress looked on, still keeping her thoughts to herself.

None of this bothered me. Because guns don't hurt vampires. And Damsels - in distress or not- are predictable, and I rarely care to hear their thoughts anyhow.

But had I been able to hear those thoughts, I would have learned not everyone was as predictable as my friend with the gun. Because while the shot he soon fired wouldn't have hurt me, it sliced through the soft skin of the woman as she suddenly jumped between me and it in a misguided effort to save my life.

The whole thing took a few moments to register in my mind, and with my mind, that's saying something.

I snapped back into action and grabbed the thug, unleashing my inner demon on him and ripping his throat out as I quickly drank the hot syrup of his blood. My attentions then turned to the crumpled form of the young woman, who stared at me through glassy eyes as she bled out on the pavement.

For me. She bled to save me. A monster.

And somewhere, some part of me long since forgotten anguished at her sacrifice.

I looked around the alley. I couldn't just leave her here. She would die. And, for some reason, I apparently cared about things like that now. But I couldn't very well take her to a hospital. She had seen everything. They'd probably have her committed for a story like that. Worse still, what if someone actually believed her?

I'd have to bring her home. It was the only option aside from letting her die.

Her eyes rolled back and unconsciousness claimed her. I had to make a choice.

"Mother Fu…" I began, lifting her chilled body from the ground,

I missed predictability already.

A/N: This is my first shot at something like this so please let me know your thoughts. And, um, be gentle.