Chapter Three: If you go into the woods today…

Song choice for chapter: 'Fatal Lullaby' by Adrian von Ziegler



At 4am on Saturday morning Bella was in the bathroom wiping the sweat away from her face and neck. She had awoken again at 3am after another mysterious dream which involved the white haired phantom. This was becoming ridiculous. Bella was scared, angry and intrigued all at the same time. What in God's name was going on with her? And who was this damn man who left her wanting more whenever his figure retreated back into the mist and out of her mind?

And why was she perspiring so, it was freakin' cold outside! Ever since the 'dreams' began she had started subtly shaking and perspiring. There was always a strange taste in her mouth after the dream too – the taste was reminiscent of blood, but it tasted good – really good – and that is what she wanted more of…that liquid ambrosia. But perhaps the taste was just her imagination? Bella grunted in frustration, she was epically confused about everything that has happened since arriving in Forks. Perhaps a walk on that trail today would clear her head and give her perspective – she hoped.

Knowing that she wouldn't be able to fall asleep again she decided to have a quick shower before getting Charlie's breakfast ready – Harry, Billy and himself were going on one of their fishing weekends and she decided to fix him a big, hearty breakfast before he left.

Charlie came down the stairs with a large yawn, he placed all his gear for the weekend near the front door before turning around and following the mouth watering aroma of fried eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, hashes and coffee. "Damn Bells that smells terrific" stated Charlie with a dreamy look across his face as he sat down at the kitchen table.

"Thanks" Bella smiled before filling both plates with the hearty breakfast and placing them on the table. She figured she'd need a large, protein rich meal to get her through her hike as she was as unfit as they came.

Charlie took a large forkful of tomato, egg and sausage before grinning like the cat who got the cream. "So what are you going to this weekend?"

Bella took a sip of her milk before answering…should she tell Charlie about hiking down the 'forbidden trail'? God, what was she on about, this was Charlie she was talking about – Mr Practicality and Won't Believe It 'til I See It.

"I was thinking of taking a hike down the trail behind our house. Angela says there's a nice waterfall down the right path of the fork…so what's the story with the left-hand trail?" asked Bella carefully before scooping up some egg in her mouth.

Charlie dramatically rolled his eyes and grunted at the overactive imaginations some of the people of Forks had. "Don't listen to the nonsense folk spread around about that trail and that cave. There were some bear attacks nearby there a few decades ago, and as usual the story got blown out of proportion – there haven't been attacks in that area since the years of those incidents"

"So I can go down that trail?"

"I don't see why not. Just take it easy and be careful. Don't forget to take the stun-gun and pepper-spray with that I gave you when you first got here" replied Charlie before he took his last bite of hash.

"I will. Don't worry dad I'll be fine"

"Oh and try not to trip over logs…or thin air and break your neck" commented Charlie while attempting to keep a straight face but failing miserably.

Bella's mouth dropped open at Charlie's light-hearted jab at her clumsiness. "Dad!"

The both of them had a good laugh before Charlie said his goodbyes to Bella and left for the weekend. Bella gave the kitchen a quick clean along with the dishes before heading up to her room and changing into clothing appropriate for a hike. She packed her backpack with hiking essentials along with the stun-gun however placed the pepper-spray within her olive-green jacket's pocket.

Downstairs inside the kitchen Bella took two water bottles from the fridge and tucked them into the netting on the side of her backpack and chucked in a few granola bars, a packet of crisps and a large golden apple.

Closing up the house Bella placed the key to the front door inside a zip pocket in her backpack and headed around her house to the small trail she could visibly see within the tree line. It was early in the morning, 7:15am to be exact. The freshly awoken birds were chirping and chattering within the trees, the golden rays of the rare Forks sun were poking through the dense foliage of the treetops, the air was cool and crisp – yes, this day was actually starting to be a pretty good one.

After about forty minutes of hiking through the thick, dense forest Bella finally came to a stop at the infamous fork in the trail. She was suddenly reminded of the movie 'Wrong Turn' and wondered if there were actually some psychopathic hillbillies living inside the cave. Yeah right. With a snort Bella took a step on the obviously unused weedy trail which apparently led to the cave.

About fifteen minutes into the walk Bella came to a stop, straining her ears for the wildlife she was supposed to be hearing. But she was met with nothing but silence. The clouds had long since erased the sun from the sky earlier through her trek, the wind had picked up, howling into the empty wilderness – but not one bird could be heard, nor the hum of insects – general life was missing from the entire area.

With steps that held more caution Bella edged further along the trail when she suddenly spotted a large cluster of boulders snuggled together around a raised mound of earth with a dark, large gaping maw – the cave. Suddenly not feeling as brave as she was this morning Bella wondered if this was a good idea or not…what if a bear or a pack of wolves really did live in the cave? She certainly did not want to be breakfast.

However the more Bella looked at the black and shadowy entrance of the cave the more it seemed to draw her in like a black hole pulling her forward towards the unknown. Her feet did the thinking for her at that moment and stepped towards the mouth of the cave with trepidation, she felt as if she were under some trance that the cave was actually whispering her name within the wind to enter. Her heart hammered in her chest as she now stood in the entrance staring into blackness.

Bella fumbled with the zip of her backpack before pulling out her blue torch and flicking it on. She waved her flashlight around the cave and noticed that it led downwards into the earth. Sucking in a large breath and mentally pulling up her big girl panties Bella began the descend deep into the bowels of the cave.

Her light shone upon the mossy damp walls and the clusters of mushrooms which dotted certain points on the ground. Her footsteps made loud crunching noises from the gravelly path – the path which seemed to never end. The cave was terribly deep, she had stood at the entrance a good ten minutes ago and her downwards march still stretched on.

Bella felt like one of those stupid bimbos in horror movies who walk straight into the heart of danger – straight into their deaths. Little did Bella know that she would indeed die soon…however it would be a 'death' of a different kind.

Caius felt his mate's presence the moment she neared his cave. He smelt her heavenly scent of roses, freesias and cinnamon as the wind brought it through down to him deep within his lair. Why she had ventured here was beyond him, but he would certainly not complain. He of course was not going to rush in and sweep her in his arms and profess his undying love to her, no, he would first befriend her, make her beg him to love her – if that made him a bastard then so be it. He wanted her to only 'see' him, to continue to be plagued by dreams of him, to always be at the forefront of her thoughts, beg for his touch – his kiss, to need and crave his tainted life force. And only then would he release her from the addiction and consummate their bond.

Her footsteps echoed closer, she was near, so very near he could almost taste her on the cave breeze. As his Bella entered the central chamber of his lair he retreated into the shadows and watched his obsession look around in wonder.

As Bella entered what looked liked to be a large chamber she softly gasped at the sight before her. Her teal eyes wandered the expanse of the room which was lit with sconces on the western wall, wooden cabinets and shelves adorned the north wall filled with books and expensive looking bottles of alcohol. She stepped in further and took sight of an antique looking large desk and chair topped with papers, books and…parchments?

Someone actually lived here. Someone had made their home this cave. And now Bella felt like a trespasser – but this was just too intriguing to leave. Bella walked over to a small, medium sized, heavy round table which held a various assortment flasks, a grey marble mortar and pestle, a small black iron…oven? And tiny bottles filled with strange liquids. "Oh my god" whispered Bella in awe – it was an alchemy table.

"Hello" echoed a greeting from within the room which startled Bella and made her yelp in surprise. She could not pinpoint who spoke as the whole eastern and south side of the chamber was in complete darkness.

Her heart hammered within her chest like the heavy beating of war drums. Someone was inside the chamber with her…watching her from somewhere. Oh god she was going to die! Breathe Bella breathe, if he wanted you dead you would have already been attacked. Remember, you're the one trespassing. Bella managed to calm down by a fraction, her eyes straining to see into the darkness.

"Hello?" she replied in barely a whisper which the occupant of the cave somehow heard.

"Do you like my home?" asked the silky and strangely familiar voice.

"I do. I feel like I'm in a 'Dungeons & Dragons' game" for Bella really did, there were trinkets and objects in here which nobody could find anywhere nowadays except within a novelty store – and even then those were shoddy imitations, these curiosities looked remarkably authentic and somehow Bella believed that they were.

The man's gentle laughter echoed throughout the room causing Bella to gasp and take a step back. She knew that laugh – in…in her dreams, but how? Suddenly a gust of wind flew past her causing Bella to abruptly spin around and dart her eyes around the room trying in vain to see into the dark.

"Now what had caused the doe to enter the lion's lair?" echoed the same voice from a different area of the chamber. Her flashlight was no help at all as all she managed to see was the walls of the cave or more cabinets and tables.

"I- I am sorry. I didn't k-know" replied Bella, the panic within herself rising again. What if he was a madman? A murderer?

Movement caught Bella's eye from where the darkened bookshelves stood before the ghost of the cave stepped into the light for Bella to see – but this was no ghost, this…he- he was her Incubus. It was too much for Bella to take in, her flashlight fell out of her sweaty palm first before her vision darkened and she collapsed to the ground, her eyes rolling to the back of her head. She felt a cool palm across her forehead and heard a soft sigh before her world went black.