TOMMY'S MEMORY

This is a short story about what Thomas went through when he was a newborn vampire, and what drove him to decide to become a vegetarian when he could have taken the traditional diet instead. Hope you'll enjoy it.


I waited on the huge rock for June to to emerge from the water. When she did, her skin reflected to the sunlight and the waves. Soaking wet, she was still more exquisite than anything I'd ever seen. Her amber eyes gleamed when they looked into mine, and her lips curled up in a grin.

She joined me on the rock and her hand on my lap.

"How was the seal?" I asked. My whale didn't taste as good as a coyote. In fact, marine creatures tasted much colder and repulsive than most herbivores on land. I never wanted to feed on anything from the ocean again. Except maybe a shark or two.

June grimaced and spoke without her pure, angelic voice. "Worse than elks and monkeys. I don't know how you do it. It's so hard, so tormenting to resist fresh, sweet blood."

I chuckled. It wasn't easy for me either, and I knew it hadn't been easy for my family. Aside from me, Bella, Carlisle and Rosalie were the only ones who had never killed humans for their blood. Nessie drank blood donated from blood banks and hospitals, but at least no one was harmed. Jasper wasn't much better than I was, but he'd learned to cope better. I was only able to adapt because everyone was able to stop me before I could do anything.

Except... only one time when no one was able to stop me. I tried to shake my head to wipe away the memory.

June felt my hasty shake and looked at me with a worried look. "What is it?"

I looked away. I didn't want to remember.

"Did you kill someone?" she assumed. Her expression slightly frightened by my grimace.

Well, at least that wasn't true. I shook my head to end her assumption and slowly looked back at her. "Close enough."

I didn't know why, but something about her sudden curiosity made me unable to avoid talking about it.

"I almost broke the diet once." The unpleasant, almost painful memory crawled forth from the back of my mind. "It was about 7 months after my change. Jasper and Emmett were watching over me. Bella was applying to study at Dartmouth, and Eddie and Nessie were with her. Esme and Rosalie were renovating a 17th century mansion together. Alice was busy decorating Kate's new closet, but I knew she would be watching my future.

"To be honest, I didn't like the way they were trying to control my appetite. I was thinking, 'human blood smells so good, so why can't I just have it?'

"As a matter of fact, I wanted to taste human blood. My mind reeled back to the thought right after I drained my stag. I knew Emmett and Jasper were enough to hold me down, but I didn't want to care. Animal blood was only good enough to curve my cravings, but it didn't taste nice at all. It only took a second to decide. I was going to take some human blood.

"Before I could stand up, Jasper pinched me to the ground.

"'Let me go!' I shrieked. He didn't relent, and I couldn't spin my way out of his grip anymore. Then, some instinctive part of me sent my mind back to the moment when I was being tormented to death by the fire that turned me into a vampire. Every inch in my body, every tissue in my cells could almost feel the pain, like I was living through the torment all over again." My face hardened at the memory. "And then it erupted, and Jasper's hands jerked away in an instant. When I got to my feet again, I saw him crumbling to the muddy ground, his arms locked around his torso, and he screamed so loudly that all life forms in our surroundings were scared to silence. Emmett looked down at Jasper with the same shocking expression that was certainly on my face in that moment. When my imagination of the fiery memory ended, he stopped screaming, but he was still panting for unnecessary air. Emmett looked at me instantly.

"'What did you do?' he demanded through a careful voice.

"I didn't answer. I wasn't even sure if that was my doing. But then I remembered what Eleazar said earlier about my power. 'His gift will grow more powerful in time. I suspect it might even become more powerful than Jane and Alec.'

"I didn't know whom he was referring to back then, but I imagined that was a good thing. Like I was going to be a very powerful vampire. My train of thought was interrupted when Jasper grabbed my ankle and pulled me down again. It happened so fast that I didn't have time to react. He pinned my hands to the ground in a half-second. My thoughts raced back to the burning. The memory of the pain burst through my body again, but this time I knew what I was doing. I willed the imagination into Jasper again, and then he crumbling to the ground beside me. As soon as I jumped back up, Emmett was charging at me. I willed him to feel the same pain, and then he fell down, writhing and crumbling in pain like Jasper was.

"In that moment, I realized what I could really do. How powerful I truly was. I could do whatever I wanted, and no one would be able to stop me. Except maybe Bella. Her power was meant to block psychic powers such as mine. No matter how strong a mental ability was, it was impossible to penetrate her defenses.

"I immediately made a break for it, running toward a river that I had crossed earlier. I knew that if I jumped into the water and let the current flush me away, Alice wouldn't be able to see me. At least until I resurfaced. I jumped in before Emmett's and Jasper's running footsteps came into my hearing range - I was still too fast for them. After I jumped in, I swam with the current with no idea where I was headed." I chuckled at the memory. "It was so cool. I didn't even need to breathe."

"By the time I resurfaced, I was miles outside of Denali. And I knew they would know where I was by now, but that didn't stop me. I hid in the woods, outside of human eye range and tried to find a target." My grin turned into a frown as the next part of the memory resurfaced. My teeth grinded. "I found a small country restaurant. Small, and reduced. Even a bit mysterious. No one would be suspicious as long as I made the kill fast and clean.

"There was a woman in the parking lot. The wind blew her scent into my nose, and then all of my muscles tightened. It was the sweetest thing I had smelled in all my life as a vampire. My throat burned like open fire and my mouth filled venom." My frown deepened as I recalled every single detail. "There was no one nearby, so she was an easy kill. I just had to run into the lot and take her back into the woods before anyone came. Looking at her soft neck where the vein was made the thirst unbearable. I was about to turn off my brain and let my instincts take over. I crouched to spring.

"But then a new noise caught my attention. It pierced into my ears and broke my focus on the woman. It was the cry of a baby. That's when I saw the carriage next to her. She picked the baby up and cradled him to her shoulder, telling her all the time that mommy was there.

"I wasn't paying attention to my burning throat anymore. I just watched them. The baby was only a few months old, possibly 6 or 7. His eyes were all round, soft and innocent. From the body structure, it was easy to see how delicate he was, but yet very enchanting and heart-warming.

"That's when I started thinking about my own family. They were part of my life just like the woman was part of the baby's. And then I hesitated.

"My family was killed by the same monsters who cursed me into this life. They were all taken from me when Nicholas and his coven killed them." My throat choked on the air inside, and my eyes stung in a strange way. I tried to breathe to calm myself, but all it did was make the sobbing worse. "And then I thought, 'will I take away the baby's mom the way mine was taken from me?' They were precious to each other, and probably to the father, too. Will I destroy such a perfect piece in this little family?

"The idea of cursing someone's life for my selfish appetite made me think very low of myself. The thought of leaving the baby without a mother, to make a scar on the baby's life, I realized I just couldn't. So I ran back into the forest, away from the scents. I didn't want to risk hurting anyone else. I was so ashamed of my actions."

June suddenly wrapped her arms around me, like she was trying to warm me with her cold body. Her chin rested on my shoulder as she sobbed tearlessly. "I'm sorry, Sam. I am so sorry."

"For what?"

Her sobbing continued. "I didn't know what you were going through. If I had any idea, I would've been there for you earlier. You were in so much pain, so lonely, and I..." Her angelic voice shook like it was reading my pain. I gently touched her face and smoothly nudged it to face me.

"Hey, hey, hey," I whispered gently. "Look at me." She opened her sad eyes and focused on me. I forced myself to smile and let the rest of the memory to flow through my mind to make it more believable. "It's okay. I'm okay now. I made it through my years without hurting anyone. And now, I have you, too. I can't be happier."

Her pained frown slowly turned into a tiny grin. After a minute, she asked. "What happened next?"

I snorted. She was so curious. "I realized I couldn't bear to harm a human being after this experience. If I lost control just once, I might not be able to keep it from happening again. So I went back to Denali, feeding on some animals along the way to curve the craving. Carlisle was happy to see me - although I think he was happy to see my yellow eyes, because that meant I hadn't broken the treaty that kept the wolves from attacking."

"What did you do after that?" she asked again.

"It would only be a matter of time before I had to go back to human society with the Cullens. I wanted to be better at the diet more quickly, so I had Carlisle take home some donated blood. It was a painful practice, but it was better to face things head on. I would spend hours looking at and smelling the blood bags, trying my best to control the thirst that was torturing me. At first, the desire and torture were so difficult that I slipped a few times. But after a few months, my thirst diminished and it became more bearable. I was finally able to hold the blood bags without tearing them up or spilling them." My lips curled up into a proud smile.

"How long did it take before you were finally able to be in human society without wanting to hurt someone?" June asked smoothly.

I snorted. "The desire's always there, but at least it's more bearable. I can walk around humans without actually letting my instincts take over. It usually gets harder when I am thirsty." I leaned closer toward her until I felt her breath one inch away from mine. My whole body tensed, and I could feel hers do the same. "But now, there's this new craving that never relents."

She smiled. "Is it a good one?" Her angelic whisper cradled in my ears.

"An amazingly good one," I whispered back and closed the distance between our lips. And then I melted completely into her touches.

Whatever happened in the past didn't matter anymore. In June, I had found myself again. The human inside a vampire's body. The life that still pulsed through the lifeless veins. Nothing could be better now.

I was perfectly happy - although the word happy didn't even begin to cover how I was feeling.