Liberty for Wolves

Part Two: The Heat

Chapter Eleven: The Hunt

'Liberty for Wolves is death to the lambs.' – Isaiah Berlin

LFW

It gets hard to be alone sometimes; but when you're a monster to everyone around you, a menace, a danger, you learn to live with it.

LFW

Edward:

Bella seemed to be settling in nicely; as the weeks went by, she grew closer to everyone, in particular Esme. As us 'children' needed to continue attending school in order to keep up appearances, and Carlisle had a responsibility to the hospital to continue working, Bella and Esme were left with a lot of time together. After the first few days, which ended with my return to the house to find an awkward tension filling the air, the wall that was between them seemed to break. Soon it was easy to see that they were best friends; Esme had been turned at the age of twenty-six, and so remained pretty set in the mind-frame she had had at that time. Similarly, Bella was actually thirty, no matter what age she looked. They were able to get on, filling in the differences with similarities.

Now that the topic had been breached, Bella spoke of her family a lot – well, her sister anyway. It was clear from the way she would gaze off sometimes that Bella adored Annie. Likewise, Esme found the topic fascinating, and was always asking questions about the girl; questions that Bella was all too eager to answer. It was almost as if Bella was speaking of her own child, and not her sister, and this manner of speaking was what drew Rosalie in. It was odd to see the sister that I was most often at odds with get so close with my imprint. I was glad, though; I had always worried that when I met the one for me that Rosalie wouldn't get on with them, and now I can see that my worries were for not. It was a great relief.

Her thoughts and emotions, as well as her future, never became clearer, though. Her mind was silent, her feelings muffled, and her future fuzzy. It often gave Alice a headache, trying to look through what she called 'the fog', but she, too, was glad for another sister. She was especially glad as this new sibling completed our family; while we wouldn't forbid anyone from joining us in the future, we would not be creating any more vampires. In any case, we had signed the treaty with the Quileutes that prevented us from doing exactly that, unless we wished to start a war.

Bella found the topic of the Quileute wolf pack fascinating. She had quickly deduced, from just a few short details, that they were nowhere near the same species as her, but they were still close, being wolves. She had expressed a desire to meet them, but had agreed not to approach their land when told of the treaty. While she wasn't technically of an unwanted species, there was no way of telling how the wolves would react to an odd-smelling human who was also covered in the scent of our family. Alice had been the most vocal on the subject, as while Bella's future was blurry, the Quileutes were completely blank. She was worried that if Bella were to go and visit the wolves, something would happen that she would be unable to see.

It made me happy to know that my family cared about my imprint so much that they were adamant that she not put herself in any danger.

But, while I was trying my hardest to be with her as often as possible between the school days, there were some things that I couldn't avoid. One of these was hunting. If I waited too long before going out to hunt, I might attack someone. It took Alice showing me a vision of me doing just that that made me realize it had been nearly a month since I had hunted. I also knew now that Angela from my history class was going to get a paper cut next week, so at least I would be holding my breath then.

Bella seemed quite okay with us going; Esme had hunted only a week ago and so was remaining behind. As they were practically best friends now, this left Bella quite glad with the option of remaining behind, and in any case she wasn't particularly in the mood to watch us devour creatures of the forest. So, leaving them behind, the rest of us set out to go and drink our fill of blood.

Jasper noticed it first. "There's some kind of odd scent trail over here," he said worriedly, glancing over at Alice every few moments or so. She immediately looked ahead, but just as it always was with Bella around, the future was all blurry. She crinkled her eyebrows.

"We're still too close to the house, I guess," she muttered. "I still can't see anything past Bella."

We deliberated for a moment, but eventually decided that our best course of action was to follow the scent. There were six of us after all, and whatever it was there was only one of, so we were sure we could easily beat it.

Oddly enough, I found myself experiencing a case of déjà vu as we approached the owner of the scent. It was getting stronger, and I realized quickly that the way we were going was towards the place that I had found Bella months ago in the middle of that storm. Once I realized this, I stopped, recognizing the scent – well, at least a little.

"It smells like Bella."

My family hadn't noticed I had stopped, and so had to turn around to come back to me when they heard what I said. "What?" Emmett said, having reached me first.

"The scent," I explained. "It kind of smells like Bella… except, younger, somehow."

As they took it in, I noticed them come to the same conclusion. When she wasn't bleeding, Bella didn't have the same scent her oddly-rotten blood had, but it certainly wasn't wholly pleasant – well, to the others anyway. I thought she smelled nice. This scent was the same; not quite human, not quite unappealing animal.

We hesitated for another moment, before continuing to move along the trail, though this time slower. It was only moments before we reached the same small clearing I had found my imprint in. The girl was in the middle of it.

She was tiny – no more than a child, really – and had bright, fiery red hair. She was quite pale, and dirty. Her eyes were closed and so I couldn't see what they looked like, but something told me they would be the same colour as Bella's. She was only wearing a small, faded and torn shirt with pants that were in the same condition. She was lying down, clearly asleep, and just beside where her right hand lay was a small bag that was closed tightly.

She woke up as Alice took the first step into the clearing, her instincts clearly flaring to life. Her eyes snapped open, confirming my theory on the colour; it was odd to see what were essentially my imprint's eyes placed on somebody else's face. She stood up as if strings were controlling her, bending slightly into a crouch as if she were prepared to attack. In another moment, she gained full control over herself enough to test out the air.

It was almost comical, the way she relaxed. Her eyes widened, flickering over each of us, before stopping on me. She took a step forward, focused on me, her gaze narrowing as she took another sniff at the air. From her body language, I thought she smelled something on me.

She took another step forward, and when she spoke, her voice rang throughout the clearing, clear as a bell. "What have you done with Bella?"

LFW

Author's note: So, first things first, this story has just hit 200 reviews! I would like to thank all of you for reviewing, and I ask that you please continue to do so! I really appreciate everything you have to say, even if it's simply 'good' or 'nice' or whatever. Also reminder, I will now be updating every Tuesday and Friday as opposed to every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

So, who is this new character? If someone guesses correctly they get a prize in the form of outside information about the story, such as information about Bella's family that won't be revealed in any of the chapters!

Also, if you wish to help out the UK charity Comic Relief, the Red Nose Day single 'One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)' by One Direction is now available on iTunes in several countries! Just search for it in the iTunes store to see if it's available in yours; the song on its own only costs $1.29 (as seen in the Canadian iTunes store), however there is two other versions of the song on the single's album for a full price of $2.99. In my opinion, the song is absolutely fantastic. The official music video was just released as well over on the OneDirectionVEVO channel; it's brilliant, if I do say so myself, but maybe that's only because I happen to be a One Direction fan. If you wish to help out in other ways, there are links to the Comic Relief and Red Nose Day websites, as well as the official Red Nose Day twitter, on my profile page. There are many different ways you can help out, and all of it would be appreciated.

Review, please, and remember me.