A/N: Your one and only warning, readers. This fiction is for mature audiences only. Graphic brutality coats nearly every chapter soon to follow and warning will not be given ahead of time.
Viewer discretion is advised/encouraged/damn-near insisted on! This fic has more than earned its M-rating.
Continue to read, if you dare…
Chapter one. Confusion
The scent became stronger as the rabid-appearing predators slunk through the heavily forested lands, their movement evenly paced and matched in a silent formation. Dense, roughened fur covered the bodies of the silent predators that moved eerily at ease and with precision.
Unlike a normal canine, their noses need not sniff the ground to track. Honed in on their target's location, they sped up in anticipation of the kill. A grating, trilling, metallic screech of a voice prickled the ears of these killers, these wolves, their bodies slinking lower still to the ground as they approached a kill.
An answering voice to the vampire's inquiry caused the newest wolf to halt, fear rippling down his spine as he twitched his ears higher to hear what was being said. The scent trail had not indicated anyone else, only the creature of the night. Someone was in danger.
The Alpha snuffed once and low, gaining his errant pack-member's attention. Casualties were to be avoided but the death of one could mean the saving of hundreds and it was a practice that countless leaders had to been faced with. Ears dropping back down, the worried wolf continued to follow, concentrating on the ground before him.
The wolves had the advantage, being upwind of the clearing that stood outside the camouflage of trees. The largest, a heavily bodied black male, stopped in the shadows, a clear view of his target. The creature was entirely focused on its prey, failing to notice the audience it now had or just assuming the new heart beats it had to be hearing were normal fauna indigenous to the location.
"They're around," the small woman assured the abomination. "In fact, Edward said I was to meet him this week." Her heartbeat increased even more so, a tell-tale sign of deception, but the monster didn't call her out just yet.
"Do you…know what day it is? I sometimes get them confused. At first I thought he was to be here tomorrow, but the more I think about it, the more I seem to recall he was to meet me Saturday. Which would be today, right?" The girl rambled in hopes of distracting her unexpected companion.
"My poor, sweet girl. Whether your owner is to meet you tonight or tomorrow will be of no consequence."
The ghostly figure crossed the remaining few yards distance between it and her. Lifting its stone cold appendage, the creature tilted her chin up to look him directly face-on. His own eyes fluttered closed in bliss as he inhaled of her heavenly aroma, whispering, "I'm afraid your journey will end sooner than that," the monster explained.
As the girl struggled to understand what this meant, not because she was confused but because her life wasn't to end like this, the figure opened his eyes. "There's a time to live," he said, gently placing stray locks of her hair behind her right ear. "There's a time to die," he continued, repeating the process with her left side errant curls. "And then," placing both of his hands on her hunched shoulders, "there is a time to become a meal."
His lips pulled back into an evil smile, the glittering teeth coated with venom an irrefutabble sign of death for the girl. Her eyes clamped shut in dread, feeling the icy pressure of stone lips against her pulse.
Making not a sound, the leading wolf instructed as the pack moved in synchronization. Crossing the tree barrier, they entered the clearing unknown to their prey. Fifteen feet away from target and it twisted its head sharply, intent to snarl away any type of wandering creature that would dare bother one such as he was.
The girl, Bella, still held her eyes firmly shut, waiting for the piercing of her throat that would precede the burning pain a vampire's venom inflicted. She had found the area she had been looking for, not anticipating that there would be a visitor.
The vampire's cold fingers dug into her flesh, nails slicing through the shirt as his grip tightened before he released, pushing her away as if disgusted. She stumbled to the ground, opening her eyes as she landed on bottom to look for why the vampire had cast aside.
The five wolves prowling in tandem caused Bella to falter in both, breathing and logic, her eyes searching for a reason as to why the vampire was backing away as if frightened. She too was scared of this new threat, laughing silently as she ground her teeth to keep from asking the vampire not to leave her here.
Unable to process the movement, Bella became aware of both threats suddenly vanishing before her eyes. Only the reverberating sounds of snarls attested to the fact that Bella had not hallucinated the scene. She waited until the noise disappeared completely before standing to run in the other direction, away from the monsters.
A single word slammed into the minds of the pack. Not an Alpha command, or a questioning gesture, but a single gut-wrenching answer to how the wolf felt about what had just happened.
There aren't enough blinders or self determination tactics to ignore a soul and Paul could in no way deny his own. His answer was overruled by a force greater than god and couldn't be dealt with amidst the thundering pursuit of the vampire presently being hunted.
Paul was the first to sink his overly large lupine teeth into the cold, unwavering stone flesh as he descended on top of the vampire. Adrenalin, rage, fury, contempt and despair came forth as his jaws clamped tightly and tore.
Sam and Jared made contact as well, taking matching mouthfuls to rip away the skin of their prey, dodging the wavering blows the vampire tried to deliver in its last seconds of awareness. With five wolves at hand, the kill was swift, body parts hastily grouped together. Embry phased back into human form, untying the small bundle from around his ankle to produce a lighter. To a grotesque pyre of stoned flesh, he flicked the silver colored flint wheel, the spark instantly igniting the wick into a flame.
The young men watched and waited until the last flame burnt itself out, leaving a smoldering piece of charred, unidentifiable remains. Silently, Sam used his foot to cover the area with forest debris before indicating his pack-mates to follow him further into the forest.
Miles away, Bella Swan continued her frantic journey home, trying to ignore the events of the past hour and wondering if the wolves would come for her. When she finally made it to her truck, gunning the engine to start back home, the long distance howls of anger were ignored.