A/N: This is what happens when the world turns sideways and Deb24601 goes away camping for four days. Annie "I don't do vamps" writes an AU one-shot. Sadly, vamp Edward is bizarrely moral, so no lemon. Don't blame me, blame SM. I did throw in some groping though. Huge thanks to aGirl_aDroid for beta awesomeness!

(I'm not a writer and I don't own Twilight.)

Take a Hike

"AUUUUGGGGHHH!" He heard a strangled, painful cry from a woman about a quarter mile away. He paused his run and listened for signs that the woman in trouble was getting help but heard nothing. Damn. This was always a tough choice, help and risk questions and complications or don't interfere and leave the humans to themselves. Edward was raised as a gentleman, so the former usually won out. He slowly, stealthily inched closer, carefully listening for signs of anyone who might be coming to her aid. Nothing. He reached out with his mind but there was still only silence, not even the mind of the woman. Strange. He could hear her heavy breathing and grunts as she struggled to move. "HELP!" She called out.

He quickened his pace momentarily but slowed down and started intentionally brushing against branches and limbs trying to make noises a human walking through the woods would make. He heard her pulse quicken and wondered if it was from fear or anticipation of assistance. Not knowing her mind was disconcerting. When he got close enough to be visible to her, he held his hands up in front of himself. "It's okay. I was hiking, and I heard you call for help," he shouted. "Can I come over there? I won't hurt you."

She stared at him for a moment, most likely considering her very few options, and finally squeaked out a small, "Yes."

He approached her slowly, hands still up. She was sitting on the path, one leg straight out, the other bent. She was cradling her ankle against her thigh, one shoe and sock discarded beside her. He crouched down several feet away. "What happened?"

"There was a hole covered by old leaves. I didn't see it, and my foot was at a bad angle I guess. It twisted... a lot." She explained.

"May I take a look?" he asked. She nodded, and he moved closer slowly, carefully watching her and doing his best to seem non threatening. He reached for her ankle, and she held it out to him. He could tell she was examining him with her eyes, probably trying to make sense of his very pale skin and strangely colored eyes. Luckily, in Canada pale skin was not unusual.

When his hand came in contact with her foot, his eyebrows narrowed at the sensation he felt until he automatically schooled his features. Tingling, buzzing were the best words he could come up with to describe it. He heard her gasp, and his eyes shot to her face. "Your hands are so cold," she said, tilting her head in question.

"Oh, that," he replied casually, he hoped. "Circulation problem." He gave her the standard answer and a small smile. She looked a little skeptical but didn't press the issue. He examined her ankle, gently pressing the tendons and muscles and asking her to move it a bit. "I don't believe it's broken, and I don't feel any tears. You probably have a bad sprain."

She seemed surprised by his knowledge and ability to diagnose her injury, "Are you a doctor?" Oops.

"No, but I did spend some time in medical school," he replied honestly. "and my brother is very athletic. He's had a lot of injuries." Not so honest. "Do you have anything cold in your backpack? A drink or an ice pack? That's really the best thing for it right now."

She shook her head, "No, I have some water, but it's not cold."

"Is your campsite nearby?"

"Uh, well...," she sighed. "I'm lost actually. I don't know where it is. I was kind of wandering hoping to see something familiar."

"Okay," he said, thinking. "How about we get you down to that lake over there? It will cool your foot and minimize the swelling. Then we'll work on finding your camp. Sound good?" She nodded. He stood and gathered her shoe and sock, placing them in her backpack which he then handed to her. Then he bent over, sliding one arm behind her back and the other under her knees, and lifted her gently.

He turned in the direction of the lake and began to walk. She held her backpack on her stomach with one arm and held onto his neck with the other. He walked slowly, careful not to jostle her leg and cause her pain. When he checked her face for any sign of discomfort, their eyes truly met for the first time. He stopped short. He felt the ground shift. He felt everything shift. His senses told him nothing had changed physically, but his mind, his emotions begged to differ. He noticed that her heart rate and breathing had sped and that her lips had opened slightly. For the first time in a long time he acted without any thought at all and kissed her.

She kissed him back.

He was kissing her, and she was kissing him. His mind, his everything, was reeling at the feeling... and the feelings. He was nearly overwhelmed from the pleasure and the joy that came from his lips moving with hers. Nearly but, thankfully, not completely because when she she licked his lower lip asking to deepen the kiss, he knew he had to stop. He pulled away. "No, don't stop. I- I feel it too." She pulled his head closer and kissed him. He let her but pulled away again. He needed to do the right thing.

He hated the expressions of confusion, rejection and sadness that crossed her face, but they were better than the alternative of her bleeding profusely from contact with his razor sharp teeth. "I can explain," he told her. "but I'll have to tell you a secret that would put both our lives in great danger if anyone found out. You should consider that while I walk."

At the lake, he used rocks and strips of fabric ripped from the leg of his pants to position her foot so that it was both in the cool water and slightly elevated. Satisfied, he sat behind her indicating that she should lean back against his chest. "What do you think?"

She looked up at him as best she could, "I want to know who you are."

He sighed deeply; nothing ventured, nothing gained, "I'm a vampire." This time he knew that her accelerated heartbeat and breathing were from fear. He tried to calm her as quickly as he could. "A different kind of vampire; I and some others like me survive on only animal blood. We don't kill people. I won't hurt you, I swear."

"Animals? Really?" She asked.

"Yes really," he proceeded to tell her everything, from how he became a vampire to how he and the others had formed a family to the realities of vampire life and the existence of those that did not share his family's beliefs about humans. Sometimes he would stop and let her process some of the information. She would ask questions or sometimes just be quiet and then indicate that he should continue.

After a few hours, the sun began to set, and the sky turned orange and pink over the lake. She shivered, and he placed his pea coat over her shoulders. "It's getting dark," he said. "Will anybody miss you?"

"Miss me, no. Wonder where I am, maybe. It doesn't matter, not anymore, not since I met you."

She found her way into his lap, her pain forgotten. She kissed him again. He moved his lips to her neck before things got out of control. She wrapped her arms tightly around his neck, pressing her chest against his, curling herself around him. His hands moved up under her blouse caressing the warm, soft skin of her back before sliding down and squeezing her behind. She moaned, and it was the sexiest sound he had ever heard. He fought down all the urges that swelled inside him and pulled back. "We... I have to be careful. I'm not sure I won't hurt you. I've never been with anyone... like that."

She nodded in understanding.

They talked for a few more hours, looking into each other's eyes, touching each other's faces and kissing occasionally. His heart glowed at the thought of having finally met his mate. She wanted to become a vampire, to be with him forever, but he convinced her she needed more time and information before she made that decision.

They decided she should go home with him, to meet his family and talk to them about her choice. She would become yet another mysterious disappearance in the Canadian wilderness.

She climbed onto his back for the long run to his home. "You'd better hold on tight," he kidded her.

She replied simply, "I'm not afraid."

The End