Rosalie picked her way slowly between the trees, careful not to make any sound. Her large topaz-colored eyes scanned the trees and her supernaturally sharp ears were alert for any sign of her prey.
She knew it was stupidly risky to go hunting Victoria alone but she had to do something. She couldn't just sit there waiting. Waiting for the attack from Seattle… waiting for the Volturi to come calling… waiting for Victoria to try and slip through their defenses again. All she did there days was wait. It was driving her crazy.
Maybe she wasn't Bella's biggest fan… but the little brunette was her brother's choice. And she was so fragile… so human. Rosalie wasn't going to let the crazy bitch anywhere near Bella if she could help it.
Particularly as she kind of owed her.
Rosalie had passed on a vision that Alice had interpreted incorrectly… making Edward believe Bella was dead. She hadn't realized he would go to Italy to provoke the Volturi in killing him… or that Alice and Bella (who was in fact alive) would go to stop him. All three had narrowly escaped Volterra with their lives.
If she killed Victoria it would go a long way towards making up for that. Besides… the redhead wasn't so tough. She was sure she could take her.
As long as she did it before Alice realized what she was up to. One of the cons of having a damn near omnipotent sister was that you couldn't get away with anything. Still, she'd made a snap decision, which would buy her some time. Not only that… but Alice and Jasper had gone a long way away on hunting expedition. Even if Alice saw her, and they ran back home straight away, it would take them at least the better part of a day to get back. By then she should have hopefully dealt with Victoria for good.
Rosalie continued to walk through the woods, eyes alert for signs the red headed vampire had passed this way. A broken twig here… a footprint… a trace of scent there…
Suddenly she saw a flash of copper up ahead. At the same got a whiff of that sweet distinctive smell that meant vampire. All her muscles tensed for battle. A moment later there was a sound like a footstep behind her.
She whipped around lightning fast just as something roughly her own size and weight crashed into her from behind, sending her tumbling to the ground.
Rosalie grabbed her attacker's arm as she landed and used their momentum to throw them into a nearby tree. She caught a glimpse of feral crimson eyes and long copper curls as the vampire… definitely a woman.. flew over her head. Victoria.
The redhead landed heavily on the forest floor and immediately jumped to her feet.
Both her stance and her clothing were a direct contrast to the blonde's. Rosalie's crisp pale blue shirt and grey trousers fit her slim frame perfectly … and her posture suggested martial arts training.
Victoria's stance was distinctly feline… and her long mane of hair, her bare feet and her stylish but slightly disheveled clothing all contributed to the wildness of her appearance.
She snarled at Rosalie as the blonde tensed to spring, sizing up her opponent.
"Brave of you to come looking for me by yourself" Victoria said mockingly. "Brave… but stupid" she sneered. "Where are your friends, Blondie?" she asked, starting to circle her.
Rosalie moved too, keeping a wary eye on her as they circled each other, each one waiting for the other to attack. "I don't need any help to deal with you" Rosalie said confidently, an undercurrent of anger in her voice at being called stupid.
Victoria watched her… a predator waiting to spring.
When she did spring it was so fast that Rosalie had no time to react before Victoria sent her flying. She landed hard on her back with a grunt of pain.
She flipped to her feet and retaliated with a spinning kick that Victoria managed to leap over.
The redhead darted forward hands reaching for the blonde's throat. Rosalie grabbed her wrists, using all her strength to keep those clawing hands from fastening around her neck. Inch by inch they got closer.
Rosalie brought her knee up into Victoria's stomach, distracting her. While Victoria groaned in pain she grabbed her and flung her into a tree. Somehow the redhead managed to grab a branch and dart upwards, losing herself in the dense foliage.
Rosalie slowly walked under the tree and looked up. No Victoria. Not in that tree anyway.
She walked warily around the trees, eyes open for any sign of the redhead.
Rosalie was just starting to think she had lost her when Victoria dropped out of a tree on top of her, tackling her to the floor.
The two vampires struggled furiously, the redhead snarling and snapping her teeth. The two may have been fairly evenly matched in strength and size but Victoria was tougher, meaner.
She managed to roll Rosalie so she was on top of her. Then before the blonde could get her off she pinned her arms and legs firmly to the floor. Her grip was like bands of steel. Rosalie struggled furiously but couldn't dislodge her.
If her heart had still beat it would have beat frantically as she realized she had lost. No one could save her… no one could get there in time. And those crimson eyes were merciless.
'Emmett…' she thought. 'Emmett I'm sorry…'
She braced herself for the brush of those lips… the sharp pain of those teeth.
But it didn't come.
Instead the redhead was looking at her as if she had only just seen her properly.
Rosalie swallowed hard, a rather human gesture but she couldn't help it when she was nervous. "Aren't you… aren't you going to kill me?" she asked, looking up at her as if suspecting a trick.
"I was" Victoria said in a voice slightly softer than usual. "But it would be a shame to destroy something so beautiful…"
Despite the situation Rosalie still felt rather pleased to be complemented on her beauty. 'Still a touch of the old vanity left…' she thought to herself.
"I tell you what Blondie…" Victoria said in a sultry purr, a grin curving her lips. "Let me kiss you and I'll let you go…"
"What?" Rosalie said in a shocked voice. Nothing ever really startled her. But this… this was so completely unexpected that even with her roomy vampire brain it was hard to process it.
"One kiss. Then you can go home to that big bear of a vampire you love so much" Victoria whispered.
"No strings attached? You'll let me go?" she asked skeptically. Why would Victoria pass up a chance to kill one of those protecting Bella? To hurt Edward by thinning the Cullen's ranks?
"Yes. I'll let you go free. I won't even try to stop you leaving" Victoria said. And strangely enough Rosalie believed her. Not that she had much choice. She really didn't want to die today.
"All right" she whispered.
Victoria's mouth descended on hers… softer than she expected. She tasted sweet… like some kind of fruit. The kind of fruit you bit into, savoring the flavor as juice ran down the sides of your mouth.
And as she kissed her she felt something she had never expected to feel for a female vampire… particularly not this one. Desire. Desire so strong it caught her completely by surprise.
It made her stomach tighten and her head feel strangely fuzzy. Made her kiss her back… softly and tentatively at first but then firmly… mouth open and lips moving with hers.
Made her, for just a few moments, completely forget about Emmett.
Then it was over, and Victoria was grinning smugly down at her. "Well well. That wasn't so awful was it?" she purred. Rosalie was thankful she could no longer blush at Victoria smirked.
Victoria let her arms go and Rosalie managed to push her off her.
As soon as she had got to her feet she took off through the trees… long blonde hair streaming out behind her… and the redhead's mocking laughter following her as she ran.