Chapter One: Meeting Again

I stood in the clearing contemplating which way to go next. I knew I couldn't run around forever, but making them hunt for me was my only source of entertainment, especially when they thought they caught me, only for me to escape. I smirked and then scolded myself inwardly for thinking about my emotions, when I did it always led to thinking about what had cut most of them off, the fact that my heart was gone.

I was so busy concentrating on berating myself in my mind that I only noticed the presence of the others when their scent wafted from where they stood, about twenty yards away. I had been so caught up in my mind that I didn't have my guard up, and I had just been thinking about those who were tracking me. What kind of an idiot does that?

Then I recognized them. Every ounce of concentration needed went to my shell; I didn't want them to know anything about me, not them. The younger male with blonde hair looked momentarily puzzled, but then I didn't need to pay attention to his expression anymore.

They must have tried to use their powers on me, my mind was in agony from the voices that were now screaming in my head, and my body quivered slightly at the amount of emotion pooling into me from them. Each and every one of them were confused and shocked, but none more so than the little pixie one, Alice.

I don't understand, I didn't see this! I didn't see her! I can't see her, it's like she's just not there! Why? Alice was as panicky as ever when her visions didn't work.

Oh my, are her eyes yellow? Does that mean she's just like us? But she seems alone, how could one survive like that without the help of another? Just like Carlisle to pay attention to detail.

I can't feel her, I did, she was there thinking hard about something and then just as shocked as we are, but now it's like there's no one standing there. I can feel everyone else, but not her. What's going on? Jasper seemed to realize something was wrong, I felt bad blocking him, but I knew they couldn't recognize me, they had already moved on, I didn't want to hurt them.

The poor dear looks frightened of us, should we greet her? Edward, can you see what she's thinking about? Maybe she wants to meet us! Esme sounded like the mother she always wanted to be, I smiled inwardly at her kindness and trust.

She looks so dirty, I mean it's not like I've had a shower since two days ago, but I never let myself get that bad! I wonder if we can go home soon. Rosalie, as self-centered as ever.

Doesn't she…no, she can't be. But she does kind of…Edward, I know you don't want to hear it, but doesn't she sort of remind you of Bella? Surprise, surprise, Emmett seemed to have hit the nail right on, even if he didn't know it.

No, no, no, no, NO! I can't hear her mind, and she does look like…NO! It's not possible, she's dead. Edward's thoughts didn't make much sense. But the harsh, cold tone he used for the last line hit a small, numb nerve.

Like a switch was hit I could no longer hear or feel them. The coldness with which he thought of me triggered it. I felt my eyes harden to match his inner voice as I slipped into a half crouch. I kept my eyes on each of the Cullens but made sure to check my peripheral for possible escapes. The only problem was, I didn't know if I was fast enough.

For a fraction of a second everything I was seeing seemed to slip into a back part of my mind. What I was focused on now was seeing them chasing me through the forest. Great, a vision. Alice must have tried to see me in her visions and now I was going to have them.

I took a small step back, readying myself to run but the older blonde stepped forward: Carlisle. I stopped, knowing I couldn't turn my back on him; he wasn't the one who made the decision to make me this way. It wasn't his fault. It wasn't any of theirs faults.

I sighed inwardly, raising my eyebrows a fraction. He seemed to still be debating, but took a deep breath. "Hello. My name is Carlisle. We don't want to harm you, but you did give us a scare." He laughed nervously, glancing over his shoulder at his family. "May I ask who you are?"

I knew they would eventually catch me, thanks to the visions I now possessed, there was just too many of them for me to escape easily, so I resigned myself to a game of 20 questions. Straightening slightly I answered with the only thing I could think of: "hello Carlisle, my name is Marie." I knew I wasn't lying exactly, so I didn't feel bad, but I figured using my middle name instead of the name they knew would keep them from realizing the truth.

Carlisle seemed to relax slightly at the fact I didn't appear to want a fight. He took another breath and gestured to the rest of his family, pointing to each in turn. "This is Esme, my wife; Alice and her mate Jasper; Rosalie and her mate Emmett; and Edward. Do you have a family or coven you belong to?"

I opted for the truth, knowing stories and lies could only get increasingly difficult and confusing the more I said. "No, I am and have been alone since my….change."

I could almost hear the whir of thoughts my comment caused, even without using the new gift I had obtained from Edward. Esme was looking like she would like nothing more than to sweep me into her arms, something I wasn't too sure I would have been able to fight against it. Alice had a very familiar, and terrifying, glint in her eyes, meaning she wanted nothing more than to use me as a life size Dress-me-up Sally doll. Carlisle seemed a bit taken aback by my comment, but softened his gaze into something resembling fatherly.

"You are animal drinkers?" It wasn't exactly a question, I already knew the answer and didn't need to ask, but given the fact I wasn't supposed to, made me ask.

"Yes, we are. Do you also? I notice the color of your eyes, but it doesn't really seem like one would be able to all by themselves…" He seemed thoughtful as he asked the one question I knew he would.

"It's not incredibly difficult for me, but I don't venture into the human world very often. I keep on the constant move."

Each pair of eyes watching me widened slightly. I knew anything I would say to them would make me seem either barbaric or pitiable. Each of them had had a home for as long as they knew, they never had to keep moving like me. But, I didn't feel sorry for myself, I knew it was necessary and it was the only thing keeping me sane.

Carlisle looked at his family once more, a question on his face. Each member gave a slight nod except Edward, he seemed to almost have a muscle spasm rather than nod. I raised my eyebrows further, knowing they would understand my question, until Carlisle spoke again. "If you would like, you could join us back at our home for a conversation, perhaps get cleaned up?"

I knew I had been out in the wilderness for a few solid weeks, but I didn't know whether going with them would be the right thing. The idea of a hot bath finally won over caution, Jasper couldn't feel what I was feeling, Edward couldn't hear my thoughts, and if I got really paranoid, I could use both of those gifts I now possessed to find out if they really wanted something else. "If you don't mind my using your bathtub, I think that would be very kind of you."

I followed them back to their new home with a slightly lighter feeling. I now knew I could outrun them if I needed to, even Edward, but that wasn't the only cause. I was with my family again, even if they didn't know it was actually me, and even though they didn't want me, I was still with them for a short time.