Rating/Warning(s)/Note(s): T, Hitchhiker
Disclaimer: All copyrights, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.
Prompt: Shock

Every so often it was still a shock to see myself in the mirror. In spite of fading human memories, what I look like is one that is permanently ingrained in my brain, even though my vampire memory of what I'll see in the mirror is perfect. It's still embarrasses me sometimes when the humans react to my beauty, and that happens more in this place than any other. After all, the young equate beauty with power and prestige, and there were many young ones about.

The music blared, sending a pulsating rhythm through the crowd, making it easier for us to weave our way through. Occasionally some testosterone-fueled boy would try to intimidate Edward, only to be met with a low growl and a knowledge of their inferiority. It was nicer than what happened to the boys who thought they could get to me. Thankfully, the girls were smart enough to take one look at me and give up immediately.

We always made sure to remain far enough back from the stage to not be caught by a camera, surrounding ourselves with writhing bodies as we danced as close as possible while still maintaining some decency. Where others had to scream to their partners to be heard, a simple whisper was all we required, making it appear as if we were only communicating with our eyes.

Only once did coming to these events cause a problem. I now fully understand what kind of restraint Edward had shown with me and was glad my entire family was in attendance to hold me back when my own singer walked past. It was a further validation of his love that he'd been able to withstand it, and once the danger had passed I made sure to say that I forgave him for biting me our first time together.

Edward's head turned to the side, breaking his gaze from me. "Someone's here," he said. I knew he meant another vampire. "He's curious about us, worried we might be a problem."

"Do we need to introduce ourselves?" I asked, turning to look where he was looking. That's when I saw him, average height, dark hair, black eyes with deep purple circles underneath. He was hunting.

"He knows we've seen him." With that Edward began the process of weaving our way back to the edge of the crowd. The other vampire seemed tense as we approached, even as he tried to maintain a neutral stance. Edward and I smiled and extended our hands in friendship. "We didn't know there were others here. I hope we haven't violated your territory," Edward said warmly.

"Your eyes…" the stranger stammered.

"We don't feed from humans," I said. "Perhaps we can go somewhere less conspicuous and talk?"

"You can bring your friends," Edward added, sweeping his hand out to indicate where others were located. The stranger's eyes darted around, giving an occasional nod as he caught the attention of his coven. Without completely turning his back to us, he headed off, leading us far from the crowds. I picked up on about three others who were breaking free from the masses and converging on our group.

I was nervous as we ran, not liking the fact that we were outnumbered and could easily be ambushed, until Edward handed me his phone. He had a text from Alice asking us to be sure to bring our new friends to meet her. They picked up on us relaxing and smiled in response. A glance between Edward and their leader, a raised eyebrow and tilted head, and a race was on. The other four of us were left behind, laughing at the impromptu competition.

When it was apparent they were going to be a while we stopped and made introductions. They were two couples, the two women sisters when human who had found mates and brought them into the fold. Levi, the mate of the younger sister, Abish, was the one we'd met first and was now racing Edward. The other sister, Saria, mated to Yocum, spoke for them all after pleasantries were exchanged.

"How do you not feed from humans? You don't appear hungry, what else is there?" she asked, excitement in her voice.

"Animal blood suffices," I told her, wondering at her reaction. "I've never had human blood. Edward maintained this lifestyle long before he changed me. My siblings say the animal blood isn't as good, but it does help them with control."

Abish and Saria exchanged happy glances. Yocum was smiling at me. "This will make Levi very happy," Abish said. "He hates feeding, going months in between, and always feels guilty. Does it really sustain you?"

"Our father, Carlisle, is over five-hundred years old and has consumed nothing else," I told them. "You would be welcome to come meet our family."

The sounds of Edward and Levi crashing through the woods in our direction reached us shortly before they did. Both were laughing and Levi looked better fed. "We found mountain lions," Edward told me, reaching his hand out for mine. "I'm pretty sure there are some bears in these woods as well."

Levi was beside himself, swinging Abish around in joy. "You told us we should go to where the young ones were. Thank you."

"Abish knows where we should go, either to find what we need or to avoid trouble," Saria explained. "None of us wanted to go to the concert, but she insisted, even if she didn't know why. We've come to learn to trust her."

"You're going to love my sister, Alice," I said. The faint smell of deer reached my nose so I added, "But first, let's teach you how to hunt. Herbivores aren't that great, but they have copious amounts of blood."

From then on we had cousins in Germany.

Sorry to be so long in getting you this, I've been super busy. I thought you'd like a little epi for Hitchhiker before I dropped off the radar to do NaNoWriMo in November. I should be back in December, all exhausted with my original book and excited to get back to fanfiction.