CHAPTER 1 - RACE
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"I win!" I cried out as we compared our prey.
Jacob had a deer in his mouth, and I was holding up a coyote about 1/3 of his size. His deer was small enough to compare with Aunt Alice's height.
"You lost fair and square, so you're gonna let me ride you on the way home."
Jacob dropped the deer and barked a laugh. He lowered his head and poked his nose on the deer. I didn't need him to be human to know what he was saying. He was giving me his prey.
I bent down and allowed my teeth to cut through the deer's furry throat, its blood was still warm when it flushed through my mouth like a stream.
After it went dry, I held it out to Jacob - I wasn't venomous like the rest of my family, so there was no problem giving Jacob the dead deer. He grabbed it with his teeth and began tearing it apart, eating its bloody flesh; and I moved on to the coyote.
We were finished by the time Uncle Emmett and Dad caught up to us.
"So, who won?" Uncle Emmett asked eagerly.
I pointed to myself with a thumb. Emmett immediately broke into proud laughter. "Told you she'd beat you," he told Jacob cockily.
"Where's mom and the others?" I changed the subject.
Dad answered. "They're all hunting some deer about two miles north."
He pointed to their direction.
"Wanna catch up to them?"
I nodded and stood, then dashed in Dad's pointed direction. I was running ahead first, but it did not take long before Dad ran past me, Uncle Emmett darted past me a few seconds later. Jacob reached me quickly, but didn't run ahead.
"Seriously, Jacob. You don't have to keep up with me."
About a half-mile, we caught their scent and followed it to their location. Mom and Aunt Alice were draining two elks; Aunt Rosalie and Grandma were a few kilometers away, sharing their deer.
I looked around the area: there were three faces missing. When I couldn't see them, I closed my eyes and listened on the environment. The sound of a running river almost covered my ears, but I could hear it. A heart slowed to a stop as its blood was drained by three sucking mouths.
"Hey," Mom greeted and made her way to us. "How'd it go?"
Jacob poked his nose on my shoulder while Dad and Uncle Emmett laughed.
Aunt Rosalie walked up to Aunt Alice after she finished her prey, Grandma was right behind her.
"Told you you didn't need a vision to know who'll win," she said. "My niece is very good at hunting."
Grandpa, Uncle Jasper and Tommy crossed the river to our side.
"Too bad, dude, looks like you'll have to give her a ride on the way home," Emmett teased.
"All right, let's go home, I'm full for an entire week," Aunt Alice said.
This was the moment that we'd all been waiting for. Tommy had orchestrated this for two days now. Uncle Emmett and Uncle Jasper looked anxious to get started. Jacob bent down on his legs, so I climbed up to his shoulder blades.
He walked a few paces ahead to face us all.
"Alright, this is how it goes," he began. "We're going to race all the way home. Whoever makes it back first and second will be rewarded with the Disturbing Nevada live concert tickets.
"Now during the race, we're allowed to use any sort of method to our advantage. We can take an alternate route, bounce, and keep track of each other's movements to our advantage. All except for one thing: we're not allowed to use any sort of method to distract or decrease each other. Everyone understand?"
We nodded together. Mom was instantly at Dad's side; Aunt Rosalie and Uncle Emmett held hands.
He turned to our racing direction. "Okay. Ready? Set..."
"Don't even think about it, Emmett," Aunt Alice warned.
Uncle Emmett snorted.
We sped as fast as we managed. Dad took the lead, running fast like blur with Mom closely behind him. Uncle Jasper quickly caught up with Uncle Emmett and Aunt Rosalie. I looked behind me and spotted Grandma at the farthest back, running inches behind Aunt Alice, Tommy and Grandpa.
And Jacob ran almost as fast as Dad. I was heavy like a fully packed backpack, but that didn't slow him down much. His paws bounced forward without pause. I bet Leah would've liked to race with us, if she was fond of vampires like her brother.
"Sayonara, suckers!" Uncle Emmett said, and began to run to his right while ushering Aunt Rosalie to follow him. Tommy left our party to join them.
They disappeared behind the trees.
"Don't worry, they're gonna lose," Aunt Alice acknowledged.
Then she and Uncle Jasper turned down the left road and left our party. Grandma and Grandpa followed them three seconds later.
"Nessie, Jacob, you guys can stay with us," Dad called from ahead. "Alice can't see you, so we can use that to our advantage."
Jacob snorted as he breathed.
"No, we're just taking advantage of what we've got. Thomas just said we can't slow each other down, but we can use whatever disadvantage they have in our favor. Let's run ahead a few more miles and then turn left. There's a ravine up ahead."
In three minutes we reached the ravine. Dad told us to run a mile down the ravine before jumping across the river, because Alice will cross it in a minute and if we ran a few miles down the rocks, we will be closer to home than they.
After crossing the river, we ran straight and caught our own scents when we were running in the opposite direction earlier. He caught Uncle Emmett's thoughts on the way and instructed us to turn right. By now, Aunt Alice was closer too. Unexpectedly, Tommy fell down from above, landing a few kilometers away from our party and ran in our direction. He caught up with us in a sec.
"How did you do that?" I had to ask.
"Rubber tree," he answered with two words, and then explained. "Good to use when you know how to take advantage of your weight and speed."
Three minutes passed. Four. Five.
Mom and Dad were the first to reach the house; Jacob, and Tommy and I were two seconds behind. Aunt Alice, Uncle Jasper, Grandma and Grandpa came into view a second later; and Emmett and Rosalie were the last to reach the house.
"Damnit!" Emmett shrieked angrily at his loss. Rosalie rested a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. He turned around and she flashed a lovely grin.
"Watch your language, Emmett," Dad warned, then turned to Mom. "We won."
Mom raised her eyebrows, but her grin flashed victoriously. "We're going to the concert."
Aunt Alice snorted and her eyes flickered to Jacob for a second. "I so could've won that."