Chapter One

EPOV

The land was quiet and calm. The trees and ferns swayed and whistled as the cooling breeze blew over them. Animals of all shapes and sizes cautiously ventured out of their homes to seek the last dying rays of the sun. Edward's lithe, black figure padded through the forests foliage like he was walking on clouds. He didn't make sound. He climbed higher up the Washington Mountains, flexing the strong muscles in his hind quarters to rocket him forward, until he reached his destination. He came to rest on a large mossy boulder, overlooking the vast, lush land that he and his community called home.

This was the home of the Panther Community. Just one of many communities spread out all over the world. Panthers have existed from the beginning of time, however their numbers were on the decline due to the increasing numbers of the human race. There was a time when Panther and Human, lived in harmony. But once the humans discovered that warmth could be generated from the Panthers large pelts and hunger could be sedated by there flesh. Humans had become their enemy and poaching had steadily declined his race. Now, neither species ventured into each others territories, unless they were looking for death.

That didn't mean that humans didn't cross the border lines. Poachers crossed the lines in hopes of catching a Panther alone. That is why the males of his race were being trained young. Their first duty to protect the community, and once they were of mating age, their mate too. Male Panthers patrolled the borderline, keeping those within the borders safe.

The safety measures didn't exactly go against there natures. Males were naturally protective. The rules of their natures dictated that males were the protectors and females were the nurturers. Males were naturally bigger and stronger than the females and were extremely possessive and territorial. Especially of there mates.

Edward looked like most other males of his kind. When in his human form, he stood at 6ft 6, the normal height for the males of his kind. He was lithe, but well muscled and possessed a shock of bronze hair and emerald green eyes. As a Panther you could tell him apart from the others, by his piercing green eyes and a line of bronze fur that ran down between his ears.

His community consisted of 55 members and the five members of his family brought the total to 60. They were one of the largest Panther communities in the world. The community was guided by the elders. The oldest and wisest of his community. His father, Carlisle was one of them. Eleazar Denalis and Billy Black made up the three community elders. All the adults came together to make decisions for whole community at council meetings, but they were the deciding votes. Charlie Swan was not an elder, but he was in charge of the community defense and was held in high esteem.

Edward had lived 31 new years now and was a part of Charlies defense unit. Most of the young males were. Edward's older brother Emmett was also in the unit, along with Edward's best friend Jasper. Edward still lived with his parents and younger sister Alice, while Emmett, who had mated a new year before, lived separately with his mate. Rosalie was a wily female. She received disapproving looks wherever she went in the community due to her behavior. Rosalie acted in no way like a Panther female should. She was loud and outspoken and in most cases disobedient.

Females were suppose to loving and nurturing, soft and modest. They weren't expected to be submissive, except with their mate. They were aloud to speak their minds and had free will, but male opinions were held above the females. Some males were looser with their females, some were overbearing. Due to males being so protective and territorial, it was hard for a male to relinquish control. But even though females held little freedom and choice, males loved and cherished their females. Male mates doted on the their females. And females and children were protected before all else.

There are three ways for a male Panther to recognise his mate, scent, touch and the feeling of claiming. All Panthers possess their own specific scent, that all other Panthers can smell. But for a male Panther the scent of his female mate is intoxicating and addictive. Once a male Panther has picked up the females scent, he is overcome with the need to touch her and when he does an electrical current vibrates under their skin. Edward has been told by his father that the claiming feeling is hard to resist and the male can become out of control until the time he claims his female. Edward new all about fighting the claiming ritual.

Panthers didn't follow human society laws. They had different laws. Laws of the wild. And it was no more true, when it came to there females. Females were not allowed to be mated until they reach 18 new years. Most males are older than the females when they are mated, due to the fact that males are just too territorial and will not leave their female unclaimed any longer than they have too. But since most males are sent away to train at the age of 16 and don't return until their 26 new year, a female being to young to claim had never been an issue, until now.

Edward however was not that lucky. Edward had known who his mate was since he was 13 new years. The community was brought up on tradition and when a baby was born into the community a ritual was performed 7 days after the birth, in which time the mother and baby was not allowed to leave the home or receive any visitors other than immediate family. On the 7th day, the baby is presented to the community. The ritual demands that the baby be named and a prayer is said over the newborn and one by one each member of the community presents themselves to the parents and baby and offers them their care and protection over the newborn.

One day when Edward was 13 new years, this ceremony was held for Charlie and Renee Swan. Word had spread around the community that Renee had birthed a daughter. There daughter was presented at the ceremony and named Isabella Marie Swan. As I stepped up on the small makeshift stage to offer my care and protection, I was hit with the overwhelming scent of the newborn Isabella. It was intoxicating and smelled like vanilla and freesias. Her scent drew me to her like a man in a trance. I couldn't help my self and reached out to run my finger along her puffy cheek. An electric shock jolted up my arm and vibrated down my skin. All I could think of in that moment, was that she was mine and I didn't want any other male near her.

The three elders, who weren't standing very far away at the time instantly became aware of what had occurred. Most males already knew about mates and our fathers filled us in on the claiming process, but at the time I couldn't understand how it could happen so soon. The whole community became aware that we were a mated pair, but since I was only 13 new years old and she was only a new born, nothing would occur for many new years to come. However since I was going to become mature a long while before her my father thought it best to send me to training away from the community early. He said the power of the feelings that came along with mating would be highly uncomfortable and even painful. Especially since I couldn't officially claim her her until her 18th new year. No male could go near her as she was part of a mated pair and all the males knew that she was already claimed.

Edward returned to the community after his training was complete on his 26th new year. However Bella was only 13 new years old at the time. He would have to wait another 5 new years before she could be mated with. Some females sort extensions from their mating duties. Desiring a couple more years of freedom before being placed under their mates rule. But they had to receive the permission of the council and the male himself and there was no way he was putting it off any longer. He shook with need for her.

The last five years had been incredibly difficult for him. Edward was not allowed to spend too much time around her, until it was time to claim her. That was their law. But he watched her. She had grown up to be a beautiful women and as she approached her 18th new year, her scent had become stronger. He knew Bella, which she preferred to be called, had been informed from an early age that she was already mated. She knew that he was to be her mate. Through the grape vine he heard that she wasn't to impressed with the idea.

The females body is not fully matured and is unable to go into heat until their 18th new year. Their heat could only be brought on by their mate and only once a year. Of course they could still be aroused and could mate with their male, but for a female to ovulate and become pregnant she needed to be in heat. Only the male can bring it on. Males produced a particular and specific scent that begins the heat cycle and once the male has stimulated her in a particular way her heat cycle was complete and he would mate with her as many times as possible until he is sure she is with child.

Bella was reaching her coming of age and Edward had already requested to the elders and Bella's father Charlie that they hold the claiming ceremony the day after. The claiming ceremony was a public event and the whole community would be present to witness. Edward and Bella would come forward at the ceremony in their human forms, the council would recite the claiming words and Edward and Bella would promise themselves to each other with the binding ritual words and Bella would be presented as Edward's mate, as Isabella Marie Cullen. Than they would shift to that of their Panther forms.

The mating ritual is even more primitive. There was a shack held deep within the forest that was used for newly mated males and females. Bella would leave first and it was Edward duty to track her. Bella had to submit to him, both in Panther and human form. Once he caught her, pinning her to the ground using his teeth on her shoulder it became a battle of wills until she submitted. Once she did, they would touch and rub in affection. He would lead her to the shack and take their human forms for the mating. Edward and Bella would mate many times over the course of three days. Edward needed to expel as much of his seed as he could inside her to mix his scent with hers. Bella's scent would alter to include his. Her new scent and a bite mark at the base of throat was the indicators to other males that she was a mated female. Not that he planned on being very far away from her at any point in time.

Edward's body shock at the idea of finally claiming her. And in five days she would reach her 18th new year and he could begin his life with her. He'd waited 18 new years for this and it was time. She would be his. And he would be hers.

Hello there my pretties

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For those of you who don't know, I'm also the writer of The Battle Rages On. An army story about Bella and Edward. For those of you who do, I know I said I was only going to write one story at a time, but this story came to me and I have to get it out. I'm going to try and do both, unless you guys don't like this one.

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Love

Nicky88