Vampires are truly disgusting creatures. After all, what sort of animal kills people just so it can continue to survive? Thousands of lives lost, just so that they can go on with their unnatural existence.
I hadn't always felt that way. Even as recently as three years ago, vampires had seemed cool and wild, almost sexy. Of course, three years ago, they had also seemed imaginary.
Everyone knew when the Cullens moved to town. Any new family was cause for gossip, and they attracted more than most. Not only were they gorgeous, but they had five teenagers, all adopted, kids who didn't look much younger than they were. Even more shocking, the kids were dating each other, and Dr. Cullen and his wife didn't seem to care.
Of course, I heard all of this through the grapevine. Almost as soon as they arrived, I collapsed with what seemed like a massive case of the flu. My fever raged for almost two weeks, and my entire body felt like it was trying to rearrange itself.
As it turned out, my body was rearranging itself. The wolf inside of me had awakened, and it was determined to make its presence and fury known. I couldn't stand to be around other people, even my girlfriend. When Leah tried to comfort me, I rejected her completely, something inside of me disgusted by her very presence.
Now I know that I was rejecting her because she wasn't my imprint, no matter how much we both may have wished it were so. If there's one thing about this entire mess that I regret above all others, it's the pain that I caused Leah.
After suffering for more than a week, I was visited by the tribal elders, who all stood over me with worried expressions, arguing amongst themselves. Most clearly, I remember Billy Black, his face closer to mine due to his being in a wheelchair, staring at me. His dark eyes were filled with so much pity that I thought I was going to die for sure.
And, in a way, I did. The Sam Uley that had existed before was blown to pieces the first time I phased. I guessed I was still him, kind of, but now I was so much more. I was power, I was grace, I was . . . terrified. I was something that existed only in legends, and there was no way to change it. I was never going to be just Sam again. I would always be Sam and the wolf.
When I phased for the first time, it was like I was stretching muscles I hadn't even known I had. The wolf had instincts different from mine, and it wanted freedom. It wanted to run, and hunt, and howl at the moon. It wanted to let everyone know that it was there.
Over the next few days, I learned how to better control the phasing, until it was second nature. I knew every trail in the forest, every animal that belonged there. I also may or may not have marked several trees, just to let any traveling creatures know that there was a new king of the forest.
The elders examined me over and over, not with fear, but with a strange sort of respect. I wasn't the first to phase, but I was the first in more than two generations. But why?
That was when I found out the truth about the Cullens. As near as anyone could determine, it had been their presence which had caused the young men of the tribe to phase before, and their return was causing the formerly inactive gene to express itself. Nomads, which most vampires were, didn't stay long enough to cause us to change. It was their fault. Stupid, violent, wild vampires.
Still, we entered a bit of stasis. The Cullens respected the old boundary line, and things didn't change that much. Occasionally we saw the doctor and his wife, but had I not known for a fact that there were five supposed children in the family, I wouldn't have believed it.
Then Quil Ateara fell suddenly ill, burning up with a fever that we all recognized. Something about his change seemed to trigger off a landslide, and Embry, Jared, and Paul were sick within the month. Suddenly, they were all looking to me for guidance. That was the first time I heard the term 'Alpha'.
Only I wasn't the Alpha. The true Alpha was Jacob Black, though he didn't seem to be at all inclined to phase. He just carried on as always, healthy as a horse. I wasn't sure if I ever wanted him to phase. On the one hand, it would free me from my responsibilities. It would be up to Jacob to make all of the hard decisions, and determine what should be done with the Cullens. On the other hand, once he assumed his responsibilities, he wouldn't be a sixteen-year-old boy any more. His life would be mapped out without concern for his feelings, and I didn't think I wanted that life for him.
What I wanted didn't matter now, though. Jacob had phased, though he was stubbornly refusing to accept the title of Alpha. He would eventually, though, and until he did, I didn't mind keeping it for him. Most of the time, it was actually pretty fun. The rest of the pack looked up to me and respected me, and it was kind of cool to take them hunting and teach them how to work together.
It should have been easy, and it would have been, if it hadn't been for Bella Swan. Jacob wanted her, even though I could already tell that she wasn't his imprint. I could have told him that she wasn't for him, that there was no sense in forcing something that could never be, but he wasn't ready to hear it. I could scream, I could coax, I could point and Leah and Emily and myself, but there's no reasoning with a seventeen-year-old boy who thinks he's in love.
Unfortunately, Bella also thought she was in love, and with one of the leeches to boot. That was when I really started to take an interest in the Cullens. I would phase and lay quietly at the boundary line, watching as they hunted. I learned to tell them apart, though the only one of the 'children' I could name was Edward, Bella's leech.
Now one of the other vampires was sick, and I was having trouble understanding why I should care. So one of them might die, big deal. There were plenty of vampires in the world.
Plus, I knew which vampire they were talking about, and he frightened me a bit. He would stand silently at the boundary line, sometimes pacing, sometimes just watching. He never crossed, so I had no reason to harm him, but a part of me desperately wanted to. He seemed dangerous in a way that none of the rest of them did. He was calculating, even when he hunted, where the others just gave in to their instincts.
I would have just let him die, but somehow, my pack had gotten drawn into this mess, and I was afraid that letting nature take its course with this vampire would spell disaster for them. So I had swallowed my pride and agreed to meet the Cullen family tonight.
I refused to come alone, though. I would take Jacob, Quil, Embry, and Seth. I had originally wanted Leah, but she let me know in no uncertain terms that she wanted nothing to do with me. So I had taken Seth instead, making it clear which member of the family I considered to be the most mature. Naturally, he had been beyond thrilled to be invited and agreed immediately. Five grown werewolves would be enough to put the fear into anyone, and I was hoping that the Cullens would be intimidated. Probably not, though. With the exception of the sick one, they seemed to have no true survival instincts whatsoever.
None of this meant I was happy with the current situation, of course, but there was very little that I could do about it. All I could do was prepare my boys for what was going to happen and hope for the best. They were currently in human form, wrestling happily in the sand. At least, the older three were. Seth was hanging back a bit, more interested in me then he was in them. It could have been just because the others tended to exclude him a bit, due to his age and the fact that Leah was incredibly overprotective of him, but a lot of the time I think there's more to Seth than meets the eye. I smiled at him, and he grinned back, happy to be noticed by someone. I made a mental note to spend a little more time with Seth.
"All right, guys, we need to go over what will happen tonight."
They all came to sit in front of me, dark eyes shining. "You are not to harm any of the Cullens, unless one of them becomes aggressive first. The four of you will remain as wolves, and I'll assume the human form. You are just there for intimidation, and to make sure this isn't some sort of trap."
"Bella wouldn't lead us into a trap." Jacob was already shaking, and I was starting to wonder if it would be better to leave him home tonight. But he was going to have to assume the title of Alpha sooner or later, and dealing with the Cullens was just something he would be required to do. Yes, it sucked that she was into the leech, but he couldn't change that. And if there was anyone who knew about trying to force yourself to love someone who wasn't your imprint, not matter how pure your intentions, it was me.
"Calm yourself. If you can't keep yourself under control here, how to you expect to do it tonight? I swear to God, Jacob, if you start something with the Cullens, even Bella's leech, and they don't kill you, I'll do it myself. They are the animals here, not us." I gave him a minute to settle down, then continued. "I'm not saying that Bella would do anything on purpose, but we know how sneaky those vampires can be."
He growled softly, but the shaking ceased. I waited, but he seemed to have settled. "I do want you to listen, though. Do you guys know which vampire is the sick one?"
Seth and Embry shook their heads, but Quil nodded excitedly. "I do!"
That surprised me. I, myself, hadn't been sure until Bella had said something, and Jacob had found out when I had. "Really?"
"Yeah, the younger blond with the curly hair? Not as big as he can make himself look, though. I'll be he's not much taller than five-eight. I know who he is."
"How?" Usually I was on top of everything my pack did. I didn't necessarily eavesdrop on their every move and thought, but I did keep a close watch.
"Uh . . ." He was squirming now, knowing that he had said too much. The other three whooped it up, making the classic 'ooohhh' noise that meant someone was in trouble. "Well, I know which two are the doctor and his wife, and which one is Edward, so there were only two left to guess from."
I glared, letting him know that I would compel him to tell me the truth if I had to. He heaved a gusty sigh. "Fine. He and I kind of have this thing we do when I'm supposed to be the one watching the boundary line. He meets me and we race it for a few miles. It's kind of fun."
Rage flared up in my chest. "You know you aren't supposed to speak to any of the Cullen family."
"I didn't. I just saw him there one day, and he saw me, and somehow we were running together. He's fast."
There were not enough words in the world for me to express how bad of an idea this was. "And why did you think that this was a good idea?"
He shrugged. "I don't know. It was kind of fun, and it's not like he didn't know that we're there at night. I mean, he was waiting for me."
It occurred to me that those times I had seen the leech standing sentry, he might have been waiting for Quil, as opposed to just checking things out. The fact that he hadn't reacted to me, though he could undoubtedly smell me, meant that he could also tell us apart. He might know how many of us there were, as opposed to just knowing that we were present.
I couldn't understand why the vampire would continue to interact with Quil, though. Was it really entertaining for him to race, or was there something more sinister going on?
"When I said Do not speak to any of the Cullens, I meant do not interact with them at all. What if he had hurt you?"
Quil shrugged. "He wouldn't have. He likes racing with me, I can tell."
Or he liked having the chance to study a werewolf up close, to know how quick one was, or to look for weaknesses. Or . . .
Or maybe these Cullens aren't as bad as you're making them out to be. They weren't what attracted those other vampires to Forks last year, and there haven't been any suspicious deaths since they've been here. Face it; the pack's behavior has been worse and more aggressive than the Cullens' behavior has.
I decided to let it go for the moment. "None of this is important right now. What's important is your behavior tonight. You are not to growl, you are not to charge. You are to just stand there and look mean. If any of them makes a move towards you, or towards me, you can kill them for all I care, but you will not be starting anything. I chose the four of you because you're the least likely to fly off the handle and do something stupid. Do not disappoint me." I hoped that by appealing to their egos, they would have more incentive to stick to what I was saying.
They all agreed, happy that I had chosen them and promising to be on their absolute best behavior tonight. I hoped so, because something told me this night was important, not just for the sick leech, but for all of us.
"All right, you four are released. Meet me here at eight-thirty." It would only take a half hour or so to reach the lake I had specified, but I wanted to make sure that we were there before the vampires.
They scattered, the older three bounding off and Seth lagging behind. He had phased, but didn't run after them. Instead he just stood there, watching them go. "Seth, can you hold up so we can talk?"
The scruffy head nodded, his tail coming up to wag slightly. It wasn't often that he was the center of attention, especially with me. I phased quickly and started walking, setting a quick pace, but one he would be able to keep up with. I let him go for a few minutes, then spoke quietly. How are you doing, Seth?
Good. He sounded a little puzzled.
That's good. How are things with Leah?
That earned me a snort and a quick baring of the teeth. I hate her most of the time. But she's my sister; I can hate her as long as I love her, too.
I supposed I couldn't fault him for feeling that way. Since she had first phased, Leah had been even more unbearable than usual. Not only was she still pissed off at me, but having to listen to the thoughts and desires of not only a bunch of teenage boys, but her former lover . . . that had to hurt. She was so lonely, since she would have to keep half of herself hidden from any female friends she made. But as bad as things were for her, she wasn't making them any easier for the rest of us.
She still hates you, though.
I had almost forgotten that Seth was even there. She's probably always going to hate me. I hoped that that wasn't true, but until she felt the power of an imprint for herself, I guessed she had every right to hate me.
Probably. He attempted to leap over a fallen log only to stumble over his own feet and crash to the ground. Ow.
I bared my teeth in what could almost be considered a laugh. He returned the gesture and grabbed a hold of my ruff, shaking gently. I jumped and batted back with both of my front feet, standing on my hind legs. That was when Seth surprised me. Instead of rising up, he dove down and swept my back feet out from underneath me. I was unable to get up before he was on top of me, his nose to my throat.
He didn't mean anything by it, of course. In reality, he probably didn't even realize that what he was doing could be taken as a challenge. To Seth, he was wrestling with a friend. If he had been an older and stronger wolf, I would have worried. But he was still a half-grown puppy, and his actions were cute rather than threatening.
They also told me that he did have the instinct to fight, something I hadn't seen in many of the others. Paul had it, but his was more of a simple temper. Useful, but difficult to control. If he had been the one to put me on my back, I would have been a lot more frightened. Despite, or perhaps because of, his young age, Seth had a fairly good handle on the wolf inside of him, and he didn't give in to its more aggressive demands easily.
Still, it wouldn't do to let him get an unrealistic idea of his own power, so I flipped him over and took his snout in my jaws. I was gentle, doing nothing to hurt him or impede his breathing in any way, but it was clear that the game was over. I held for a few seconds, then released.
Seth gave his entire body a quick shake, then returned to my side. How come you're asking all these questions?
Just making conversation, that's all. I don't like the thought of any of us being alone out here, not now that the leeches know we're here.
Are you mad at Quil?
This was thought-speak, the bond that ran deep between the members of the pack. There shouldn't have been a tone to it at all, just the words, but somehow there was. Somehow those five words had come out packed with fear. I did my best to soothe him. No. I'm a little frustrated at his behavior, especially because he could have chosen the wrong vampire to play with and been seriously hurt, but I'm more irritated that I wasn't paying close enough attention to know what he was up to.
Oh. Are you going to tell him you aren't mad at him?
It was a good question. As the Alpha of the pack, my thoughts were far more hidden from them than theirs were from me. I cut my eyes at him, drawing him into a secret. Maybe I'll let him suffer for a little bit.
Seth gave me another wolfy grin, his breath fogging in the cool air. Yeah, that would be great.
I debated whether or not to keep going, but I didn't get the chance to be with just Seth very often, especially considering that Leah did her best to keep us apart, so I pushed ahead. You know, the others don't mean to leave you out, sometimes.
I know. They just don't think about me, 'cause they still think I'm just a little kid. It's not like they leave me out on purpose, so it's all right.
Except it wasn't. True, Seth was young compared to the rest of them, but he was still a member of the pack, and he deserved the same respect as the rest of them. I'll talk to them.
You don't have to. The words were cautious, but I could see the hope in his eyes.
Don't worry, I won't tell them that we talked. I grabbed his scruff playfully, flipping him onto his back. He yipped and struggled, kicking at me with both hind feet, but he couldn't break my hold. All right, get yourself home.
I raced back to my place, leaping onto the porch. Emily was sitting in the swing, humming contentedly, and I phased back as quickly as I could. She smiled and brushed her lips against mine. "Do you have to run through a mud puddle every single time?"
I kissed her harder. "This is Forks, where it rains three hundred and sixty days out of the year. It's nothing but mud puddles out there."
"At least you didn't shake all over the porch. Now if you could just train your puppies to do the same thing, they would be more welcome here."
The rest of the pack was always welcome here, and we all knew it. "I'll bring it up to them tonight."
"You're still going to meet that sick vampire?" Her tone was unreadable.
I nodded. "We have to. I don't know how we're involved with this, but we are, and I need to know how to help my pack. And if helping them means helping the Cullens, then so be it."
She nodded again. "This could be a good thing."
"How?" I saw very little positive about this situation.
"Well, maybe it's time to let this thing with the Cullens go. They've been in Forks twice that we know of, and no one has died. Maybe we need something more than a boundary line. We all know that there's worse in the world than these Cullens." She stood up and opened the front door, looking seriously at me. "An alliance wouldn't hurt either one of us."
"Absolutely not! We have an alliance, and that is what the boundary line is for. A hundred and seventy-five years ago, it was good enough for our ancestors, and it is good enough for us today." I was appalled that she would even consider such a thing.
"And a hundred and seventy-five years ago, we were also 'filthy savages' that needed to be killed off or converted for our own good. Dinner will be ready in a half hour, go wash up."
She wouldn't say anything else about the Cullens tonight, and she didn't have to. Her point had been made, and it stung deeply. Maybe I should use tonight to gauge the Cullens, and go from there.
Dinner was a quiet affair, with both of us lost in our own thoughts. When we finished, there was still more than an hour to wait, so I went and lay down on the couch. Emily came and sat next to me, her soft fingers running up and down my back. "It'll all go all right."
I wished I had her confidence. "We can't know that. Even if the Cullens themselves behave, there's still the matter of the sick one. We don't know what's wrong with him, if he's contagious, or if he's bringing something terrible in to Forks."
"Jasper?" Her question was soft, but the implication that she knew him made my head pop up.
"How did you know his name?" Was every member of the tribe cavorting with those leeches behind my back?
If anyone should be afraid of me, should know how dangerous I can be when angry, it's Emily. Those marks on her face will never change, never heal, and every time I see them, I'll know that I'm the one who put them there. She knows exactly what I am, but she never flinches back. "Carlisle, Esme, Jasper, Alice, Rosalie and Emmett. Then Edward, of course. Everybody in Forks knows the names of the Cullens. It's just that none of you have cared enough to match the faces with the names. I knew it would be important one day, so I got last year's yearbook and looked them up. Blond male matches Jasper and Carlisle, and, since you spoke to Carlisle on the phone, it's easy to figure out that that Jasper is the one who is ill. Things might go better tonight if you would at least call him by name. 'That leech' or 'the sick one' isn't going to win you any points."
She was right, of course. I had to at least be polite, or this whole thing would be for nothing. "You're right."
"I'm always right, and the better you remember that, the easier things will be for you." She pulled me close for another kiss. "Now go do the pack proud."
The boys were already waiting for me, their bodies practically vibrating with excitement even though they had already phased. I phased as well, bracing myself against the sudden onslaught of thoughts and emotions. It was all good, though. They were familiar to me in a way that no one else in the world would understand.
"Sam!" Emily was holding out a satchel. "Don't forget your clothes, unless you plan on meeting with the Cullens naked."
That's right, show those leeches what a real man looks like! That was from Embry, who was panting with laughter.
I raced back to the porch and allowed Emily to slip the bag around my neck. She kissed the top of my head, her arms still hugging me. I resisted the urge to lick her face, something I was pretty sure she didn't appreciate. I did, however, turn my head to lay my face against her chest. She kissed me one more time. "Go get 'em."
We actually made it to the lake quicker than I thought we would. I had failed to factor in that we were moving with a purpose now, not the lackadaisical gallop which usually characterized our travels. I didn't have to tell Quil to stop picking on Seth, Jacob didn't stop to pee every ten feet, and no one took off chasing a butterfly or rabbit. Once we were there, I gave them a stern reminder of what I expected from them, and phased back.
All four of them tipped their heads back and howled at the sight of my naked body. I flipped them off and shrugged into my clothes. They were such teenagers sometimes. Still, their howls would no doubt carry down to the Cullen house, and would at least make its inhabitants uneasy, if not downright frightened.
When the Cullens appeared, the four of them were in perfect formation, all standing behind me. They arrived on foot, though I had heard a car earlier. To my surprise, they also brought Bella.
The doctor shrugged. "She threatened to follow us and get lost in the woods. Oh, and also get eaten by wild dogs or kidnapped by lonely mountain men. Bella did I miss anything?"
She nodded. "Yes, my body wouldn't be found for years, until I was just a scattered pile of bones that would have to be identified through my dental records, but only if they could find both my upper and lower jaw."
He smiled gently at her, and that smile was way too close to the one I gave the younger members of the pack. It was a paternal smile, and he had no right to be giving it to any human, much less Bella. To my right, Jacob growled softly. I turned and shot him a look, the kind that silenced him immediately.
Dr. Cullen kept going. "These are my sons, Edward, Emmett and Jasper, and my daughter, Rosalie. Jasper is the one who is feeling poorly."
His choice of vampires intrigued me. Emmett had obviously been chosen for his size, and Jasper had been brought because he was ill, but why Edward and Rosalie? I didn't like the way either one of them was looking at me. Edward looked like he knew something that we didn't, and Rosalie had a glare on her face that could have rivaled Leah when she had PMS.
It was Jasper who struck me the most, though. He swept his gaze over me and towards the pack, who completely embarrassed me. Jacob growled again. Seth took one look and lay down submissively. Quil started wagging his tail like a goddamned Labrador. Only Embry held position, but he was easing nervously from foot to foot. They were in the presence of another Alpha, and all four of them knew it.
I wondered if Dr. Cullen knew what he had in this Jasper, but probably not. I also couldn't understand why Jasper would willingly submit to the doctor, who was nowhere near as strong of a leader as he was. Maybe the Cullen coven had its own strange dynamics.
"I'm Sam, and this is part of the pack." I didn't identify them by name, which would have put us in a bad position should things go sour. My eyes met Jasper's, and he nodded very slightly. He understood what I was doing, and he respected me for it.
That was when I noticed an interesting difference between Jasper and the other vampires. They all had eyes that ranged from pale yellow to black. His were crystal blue, and deeply focused on mine. He stood tall and calm, not letting any weakness show, but I could smell the sickness on him. Dr. Cullen had been right. He was very, very ill.
Dr. Cullen gestured at us softly. "Jasper, do you recognize anyone here?"
"Yes. But not by name." He gestured to Quil. "I know him, kind of."
"Does the name Jacob sound familiar? Embry? Paul? Quil?" I knew that the doctor was trying to see if he was getting flashes of faces along with the conversations he seemed to be able to repeat, but Jasper was shaking his head.
"Only from Bella." He was shaking his head softly, the blond hair getting in his eyes. "I don't know what I'm doing here."
"I don't think any of us do, dude." That was from Emmett, the huge one. "We're all doing the best we can."
He looks like shit. I mean, really bad, Sam. He didn't look like this at all the last time we met at the boundary line. Quil was panting, his lips pulled back from his teeth in a nervous grin.
"I agree with Jasper, I don't see how this can help." Rosalie was watching us with undisguised disgust.
Jasper spoke up before Carlisle could correct her. "Easy, Rose. Having allies is never a bad thing, and we don't know what might or might not help."
The pack was not going to be allied with these vampires, no matter what he thought, but I didn't let my face betray those thoughts. I had to admire his way of soothing tempers, though. He was actually making me feel calm and hopeful.
Suddenly Jacob started growling, louder than before. I started to turn, but now the entire pack was growling and turning around. Jacob spoke rapidly into my mind. They lied! There's another vampire here, hanging back. I told you we couldn't trust them!
That comment hurt, because I actually had been starting to relax around the Cullens. Their manners had been impeccable so far, and they genuinely seemed to need something from us. Jacob, you and Embry go check it out. Catch the other vampire, but just hold him. Do not destroy him, got it? Seth, Quil, you stay with me.
The Cullens were all looking around now, no doubt trying to figure out why half of the pack had just turned around and vanished into the night. Bella tugged on Edward's arm. "What's going on?"
He shushed her quietly, the sight of his hand on hers making my skin crawl.
"Bella, can you come over here?"
Her arms crossed over her chest. "No. I want to know what's going on. Where did Jacob go?"
"It seems that the Cullens have an extra vampire lurking around here. Dr. Cullen, I thought we agreed to meet as equals?" I made my voice as biting as I possibly could.
Sam? Uh, Sam? Seth was anxious and I shot him a glare. I should have left him home; he was too young and inexperienced to meet with so many vampires at once.
I cut him off, adding in an order for him to be silent this time, instead of just a suggestion. He started to whine immediately, and I felt bad, but there were more important things happening right now.
The doctor seemed puzzled. "The rest of my family is still at the house, with strict orders to stay there. Perhaps a nomad—"
A grey blur shot by me and across the clearing, mingling among the vampires. No, that wasn't a blur, it was Seth. He was whining and barking, spinning in circles around them.
Emmett smirked. "What is it, Lassie? Is Timmy in the well?"
Quil suddenly got it. He means that Jasper's gone! He must have bolted while we were talking about the nomad.
A quick head count of the Cullens determined that Quil was right. Jasper was gone. "Where's Jasper?"
They all jumped and started looking around. Dr. Cullen turned to Emmett. "You were supposed to be watching him! I specifically told you to keep an eye on your brother!"
Jacob's voice came back to me. The other vampire's female, blond, bright red eyes. We have her on the run. His voice was thick with the thrill of the chase.
Is Jasper with her?
No. Why, did you lose him? He was only listening to me with half an ear, I could tell. Stupid teenage wolves and their inch-long attention spans. I turned to the rest of my pack. Go. Both of you. I'll meet you later. They squirmed, but vanished into the woods, their howls rising to join the ones I heard in the distance.
A cell phone shrilled through the clearing, making us all jump. Rosalie grabbed it and spoke, her words too quick to understand. The cell phone fell from her hand. "Carlisle, Emmett, get together. That was Alice. She says she couldn't see us a minute ago, but now she can, and we've walked right into a trap!"
I called the pack back to me, knowing even as I did it that I was too late. Vampires appeared out of the woods, at least of dozen of them, surrounding all of us. Edward pushed Bella behind him and snarled at them. I phased in an explosion of clothing, baring my teeth. They paused, but whatever was driving them on was more important than their natural fear of a shapeshifter.
I backed up until I bumped one of the Cullens. This was it; we needed to work together if we wanted to survive.
With an evil smirk, the first vampire lunged.