The forest sped by, as I headed south, lost in my head. Well, I say lost, but I was still, like, 1,000% aware of my surroundings. Every leaf, every bit of moss, rock, twig, and insect stood out in perfect clarity. Every sound, every scent, and even taste, as I ran, assaulted my already overwhelming state of being.

All of this stated in that stupid meadow… our meadow.

When I saw Leraunt I'd been so… overjoyed! Finally having some sort of tangible proof that he existed. But then I saw his eyes. Red not gold. I listened as he told me about Victoria's plan to kill me and how he'd make it quick instead. I lied unsuccessfully as his velvet voice rung out through my mind.

Then the pain.

At some point I started to register that Jake was with me. He was begging me to not die and begging someone else to let me live. He told me everything was going to work out and he'd make sure I made it north. All the while, I lie burning with the fire of a thousand suns.

When my heart stopped and the pain was gone, I was surrounded by 4 huge wolves and Jake. To say I was freaked, was an understatement, but he told me that he was a wolf too, and that I wasn't welcome so long as I had red eyes. Also, that everyone in Forks thought I was dead anyway, so the smartest thing for me to do was just take the backpack he'd brought for me and leave.

So that's what I did.

Jake escorted me to the Canadian border and I'd been running ever since. That was almost a year ago. So, I hung out in the wilderness draining moose, caribou, and even irritable grizzly bears, while I tried to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do.

I actually spent the majority of the first 4 months up a tree. I sat there and wondered why I seemed to be the polar opposite of Alice. I mean, she had no memory of her human life and saw the future, while I could and still can remember every little stupid thing about my human life, so it's like I can see the past!

He and some of the others had said that human memories faded in the transition, but maybe they just meant that their memories faded with time? I don't know about any of that, but what I do know, is that I remember him. I remember him and I remember them. What's worse, I still friggin' missed them!

Actually, my first impulse was to try to find them, but then I thought about the look on his face when he confirmed my deepest darkest fear and then disa-fucking-peared. No. I wouldn't bother him. He would have his distractions and I would have my own un-life to live.

So that's what I set out to do. I lingered on, what I found out was, the British Columbia/Yukon boarder for a good 6 months before finally venturing into a little town to steal new clothes and shoes. I mean, Jacob had packed me a couple changes of clothes, but jeans and thermals only last so long. The outfit I woke up in was actually the same one I was attacked in, minus my jacket and original backpack, but my top was absolutely destroyed the fist time I ate bear.

Thinking back, I wondered if that was part of the reason I didn't have much trouble being around humans… you know, seeing as I wore a pair of clothes with my leftover human blood on them for over a month. Then, of course, the two other outfits were stuff that Jake stole from my room so they, too, smelled like human.

I'd only gone to town because I'd heard gunshots ring through the early morning. It was hunting season. People would be wandering in the woods. That's when I realized I was waking around in tattered clothing and bare feet. However, my eyes were a light ocher and I was pretty sure that if I held my breath, I could make it in and out of a store quick enough. Then I thought again and remembered I was broke. That was the night I had to get over my aversion to B & E.

The place I chose reminded me of Newton's Sports. It was small and had literally everything I needed. I went in through the back door, in the dead of night, snapping the simple key lock with pretty much no effort at all. I grabbed a pair of black Carrhart pants, a pair of pretty nice boot-cut jeans, a new pair of hiking boots, a couple packages of plain white thermal shirts, heavy socks, and a rather awesome long black leather coat. I ducked into the washroom to change and clean up, then grabbed some shoestrings to tie my hair back with.

I was opening the door to leave when the wind knocked down a nearly empty box of paper towels. I shut the door and cursed. It was the first time I'd opened my mouth since I'd left the cover of the trees. The air did taste like… something good, but nothing that set off my throat to burn too badly. I picked up the box and it's contents and then said, 'fuck it,' and took a tentative sniff.

Mmmm... I followed what I just knew was human, to a coat on the back of a chair. My throat had a moment of flash burn, but I pushed it aside and decided right then, that I was going to walk through town and listen to the heartbeats and maybe even run into a real, live, walkin', talkin' human. I mean, why not? He got over my blood by forcing himself closer and closer to me, right? Well, I was going to have to rejoin civilization at some point… might as well get on with it!

That was a little over 2 months ago.

I figured I'd head to Denver. I'd have to be cooped up indoors most days, but the night life would be good and hunting would be just outside the city limits, so, yeah… All I needed was a fake I.D. and a job. I figured, a few collage parties, and I'd get the I.D. situation under control, and it wasn't like I needed a place to sleep. Showers were available in all kinds of places, including random people's houses when they were gone, so I was good.

Hmmm… crossing through Missoula, I'd frozen for a few seconds at the scent of other vampires, but then beat feet with a new determination so as not to have to even say, 'Hey.' I made it down through Yellowstone, into Wyoming, and over to a place called Sheridan before I caught a whiff of vampire again. This time, I was spotted but didn't stick around to talk. The pair both had red eyes and that was enough for me.

I was currently in the Arapaho National Forest hiding from the sun. it was almost new years and it was beautiful out. Brisk winds and 40-some degrees, sure, but sunshine, blue skies, and only the sounds of the forest for miles and miles.

I'd hit up a few dorm rooms at the collage in Ft. Collins and scored some new clothes. The skinny jeans already had holes in them and the tees fit a little snug, but after the shower and a pair of chucks I found in a common room, I felt almost as good as I looked. That was the only thing I really liked about my un-life now. I looked like a fuckin' model. My hair was longer and thicker, my skin was perfect, and I'd gotten a few curves in places I didn't have them before.

I also, now, was guilty of identity theft. I'd run across a girl's birth certificate and SSN card and couldn't help myself. I took them to the nearest DMV and gave the guy behind the counter a sob story about a lost license and a pleading look, and he bought it hook, line, and sinker. Now I've got a Colorado state driver's license with the name, Mallory Townsen on it. It also says I'm 22-years-old and wear corrective lenses. Nuts…

So this is how I'm going to get a job. I have the paperwork and maybe I can 'Dazzle' somebody into letting me wait tables or stock shelves. I made a mental note to find out where the high pay clubs were first, and if that didn't work out, I'd try every Walmart in the Denver area! Until then, I think I'll go for a hunt.

After disposing of the drained deer I had for dinner, I realized I'd need a residence if I was going to get a job. Without any money, that was going to be tricky. Well… first thing's first, I suppose. I was going into town tonight to look for an empty apartment to inhabit. Probably one that was so shitty nobody would even try to rent it out. I could just use the address and maybe store some stuff there? Who knows. I'd have to actually find this fictional shit pit first, right?

So off I went.