***Extended Description: In the not so distant future the world has been taken over by vampires and all the people have been hunted to near extinction. But a colony of surviving humans built a new life for themselves hidden in the shadow of Mount Saint Helens.
They think they're safe, they believe the vampires are oblivious to their existence, but they're in for a rude awakening. A sole vampire infiltrates their village, and he may be hiding some dark secrets that go beyond the obvious.
Bella is the daughter of the village leader – when her older brother Emmett goes on a quest to find more human survivors, word comes back of his capture and Bella makes a decision to set out after him. With the help of her best friend shape shifter Jacob, she busts the vampire captive out and forces him to show them the way to find her brother.
**AU, BPOV, HEA, Romance, Drama, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Slight Angst, Humor, and a hell of a lot of fun!
Arrogant, Snarky, Witty, and Occasional Dark Edward/ Feisty, Stubborn, Strong-Willed, and Horny as Hell Bella
*Loosely based on the TV show Revolution (semi post-apocalyptic, young woman sets out on a journey through a treacherous land to find her brother but encounters much more than anticipated on the way)
Disclaimer: I do not own "Twilight" or "Revolution" plots, characters, or recognizable people and places, but the rest is all mine!
Chapter 1 – Stranger
It was so quiet, almost too quiet; not a bird chirping or even the gentle rustle of the wind blowing through the trees. It was supposed to be Spring, but you'd never know it from the stillness of the morning. With my bow in hand, I slowly walked forward hoping to find something, anything. But it was just so quiet.
Then there was a noise so I froze in place. For a minute, the only sound was my soft breathing as I tried to hear over it, and then…
A deer, seemingly lost and bewildered in the silence, darted out in front of me and I didn't hesitate. My arrow cut through the air swiftly until it pierced right through the deer's neck…a perfect shot.
After tying the deer up so I could move it easier, I made my way back to the colony. It was nearly twilight and I knew the wolves would be patrolling, so instead of going through the main gate I snuck through a small broken drain in the back. No one knew of my secret path to the outside world, and I planned to keep it that way. My father would absolutely kill me if he knew.
"Bella!" I heard my name as I pulled my kill towards the butcher.
I turned slowly. "You're not going to tell dad, right?" I asked, giving him my best pleading face.
"I should!" Emmett said angrily. "You know dad doesn't want you going outside the boundary wall."
I rolled my eyes at him. "And what's going to happen to me? There has never been a vampire in these parts and there never will be. They're too afraid of the volcano."
"Yeah well, they have to be getting desperate by now. All they need is a strong wind to carry our scents towards them and they won't hesitate. After the wolves, the flame wall is our last form of protection and if you're not inside you may as well be dead already," he lectured me. I had heard it all before so I just nodded and tried to tune him out. "This is serious, Bella."
"I know. I just don't understand why dad won't let me go out with the hunting parties. I'm eighteen now, and by far the best archer in the village."
"One, all the hunters are men, and two, they always have wolves with them to cover their scents."
"God, women are just as capable, this is not the eighteenth century, and the wolves will be around soon enough to cover my tracks."
"Ok, here's something you can't argue with…You are Charlie Swan's daughter. End of discussion, now go home!"
"UGH!" I yelled in frustration, I may have even stomped my foot, though I wasn't going to admit it. "I hate being locked in this stupid town all the time!"
It wasn't really the truth; the village was my home and I loved it there, but the forest was where I felt the most free… the most alive, and I hated the thought of never being allowed to escape everyday life there.
"Well you should be grateful for this town and that dad is the leader. There are very few people who are lucky as us!" Emmett said intensely. "Now, go home; I'll take the deer to the butcher."
My father was a police chief before the human world ended, but in the sixteen years since then he had led the surviving people in a peaceful hidden existence. Everyone looked at him with respect and would follow his wishes on anything, including keeping me and the other women and children locked within the confines of the village wall. The top of the wall was set in a constant blaze in a last form of protection if a vampire ever did find us, but in reality, the wall was meant to keep us in. It was a prison, and my father was the warden.
I gave my kill to Emmett and then walked back towards our home. Luckily, no one knew where my secret exit was; therefore I'd still be able to use it the next time I wanted to leave.
"Why do you smell like blood?" Jacob asked me as soon as I rounded the corner to my house.
"Ugh, why do you have to have such a good sense of smell," I said annoyed. "Shouldn't you be out patrolling or taking care of your dad?"
"It's not my turn to patrol, my dad is in a council meeting with your dad, and my sense of smell isn't nearly as good as when I'm in wolf form," he replied casually. "Oh, by the way, I ran into your brother and he said you're in deep shit."
"Whatever," I said irritated. Jacob and I had been friends since his family first arrived there and offered us their protection services. He came from a long line of Native American warrior shape shifters which had been protecting their tribe from vampires long before the rest of us even knew they existed. But the people were weary of anything supernatural at that time, so once again it was my father that stepped in and convinced everyone to trust them and we've all been grateful for their presence ever since.
But at that moment, I just wanted a certain shape shifter to leave me the hell alone.
"Why are you in such a bad mood?" Jake asked me while playfully shoving my shoulder.
"How would you like it if you were never allowed to leave the village?" I snapped at him.
"You can leave….as long as I go with you."
"Why, because a lone teen wolf can protect me from a vampire attack?" I asked sarcastically. I really didn't mean to take out my frustrations on Jake, but he'd never hold it against me – I suppose that was why he was my best friend.
"Damn right I could protect you."
"And how many vampires have you killed before?" I asked with a smirk.
"Well….none…but I've seen it done mentally and I know exactly what to do."
"Uh huh," I said with a laugh.
I decided to push my foul mood away and just enjoy my friend's company for a while. As much as I hated it, the village rules were there for our safety whether I agreed with them or not, and I had to respect that.
For the rest of the week I was good and never left the village, but then my brother informed me he was going on a trip and I had an odd feeling that everything was about to change. Of course, that just made me even more anxious...
"How is it fair that I can't even go out into the forest right outside the wall, but Emmett's going on some journey?" I asked my father. I had to admit, I sounded like a whinny brat, but I couldn't force myself to shut up about it. The forest was really my only place of true and complete happiness, and I didn't want to lose it.
"Bella," he replied with a frustrated sigh. "We have reason to believe there are more survivors out there, and Emmett has asked to go search for them. He is taking four wolves with him for protection and to cover his tracks, whereas you have no business being outside the wall."
"I'm the best archer –"
He put up his hand to stop me. "We have hunters to bring meat back to the village. It's their job, and your job is helping in the library. We all have our places here, and yours is definitely not outside the wall."
"My answer is no," he said sternly and that was the end of the conversation.
As immature as I was being about the entire thing, I didn't even care about my own miniscule level of freedom, not really anyway. It was just an easier thing to focus on then what was about to happen - my brother was leaving….and he may never come back.
I couldn't even think about it. I could never imagine a world without Emmett. My stomach was in knots and I had been fighting the urge to cry since first finding out about it.
I couldn't lose him.
He wasn't just my brother, in many ways he was more like my father, mother, brother, and best friend rolled into one person. I loved my dad, but he had such a big responsibility to the village and couldn't always be there the way I needed him. My mother died when I was six, so my brother was the one who was always there for me. He taught me to ride a bike and how to tie my shoes; when I was older, it was Emmett who taught me to shoot an arrow and how to survive in the forest if ever necessary. Everything I knew, everything about me, I learned from him.
What was I supposed to do if Emmett didn't come home?
"Please don't go," I asked him as he came to say goodbye. It seemed like an impossible mission and I was convinced I'd never see him again. I tried to hold in the tears, but they spilled over on my cheeks regardless.
He wiped my cheek with his palm. "I'm coming back," he said assuredly. "I just can't stay here when there's a possibility of survivors out there. They may need help, Bella; if we're not willing to risk our own lives for others, then what the hell are we doing here? We can't forget what's most important….our humanity."
I nodded with a new round of tears. "I wish I could go with you."
He wrapped his arms around me. "You're going to do great things one day, we just need to keep you alive long enough to do them," he said with a chuckle. "Please stay inside the wall while I'm gone."
I hated doing it, but I nodded and agreed. How could I not promise him anything he wanted when I may never see him again?
Emmett, along with four shape shifters, left on foot that afternoon. Automobiles were a thing of the past since we had no way of getting gas, plus vampires didn't need them and had excellent senses so they would be able to hear a car's engine noise for miles. But them being on foot meant they'd be gone for weeks, possibly even months, leaving only eight mature wolves left to protect the village. It would have been easier than ever to sneak out into the forest, but I made Em a promise and I couldn't break it.
It was so strange having my brother gone. The village consisted of around five hundred people, and yet, it felt so empty without him. But after he had been gone for a little over three weeks, we were surprised to see a small group of people come to the village, escorted by two of the wolves who had left with Emmett. Apparently his journey was successful, but he wasn't finished just yet.
"The wolves said Emmett and the others were going to head to a location in Phoenix," Jacob explained to me after speaking with the two wolves who had just returned. "They think there are people living in caves there."
"Really?" I asked, grateful Em was ok, but surprised by the news of where they were headed next. Mount Saint Helens' constant volcanic activity was shielding us from the vampires, but I found it extraordinary that caves would be enough to hide people, especially for an extended period of time.
"Well, I doubt anything will come of it, but I guess Emmett still wants to try."
I nodded absently. "I just hope he's being careful."
"Embry said they were moving about pretty easily. They only saw a couple covens and managed to remain undetected."
"That's strange….I thought the lands would be crawling with them."
Jake shrugged. "Maybe they're dying out."
"How could they do that, they're immortal?"
"Yeah, but if they don't have any blood, they get weakened…so maybe they're all just hibernating, or something."
"Maybe," I said uneasily.
Two more weeks past, and suddenly another small group of people arrived with one more wolf - that meant Emmett only had one left to protect him while he went wherever he was going next, which made me absolutely terrified.
I couldn't take it. My anxiety over my brother's absence was reaching an all-time high and I just needed to take a breather. So as a way of still keep my promise, I went to my secret exit to just sit there and look out to the forest, wishing I could run through the tress as I had so often in the past.
"I may be wrong…but I think this sort of thing is forbidden," a voice I didn't recognize said from behind me. I turned quickly and my breath caught.
"Uh…I…" I couldn't even find my words. Staring back at me, with the most beautiful wily smirk I had ever seen, was a man; a beautiful stranger who looked more like a hero from a classic novel than a modern guy who had just arrived from a merciless outside world.
I knew every one of the five hundred people in the village, and I had never seen this man before so he had to have come with one of the groups Emmett had sent back. Strangely, knowing he had been with my brother recently just made me feel connected to him, almost like my brother sent him into my life for a reason.
"I mean, I'm new here and all, but I've heard around that it's against the 'law' to leave the village without permission, and well…this pretty much looks like a prison break," the man said to me lightly. The cadence of his voice, even while being cocky, was unlike anything I had ever heard before. It was velvety and innocent, but very masculine and worldly at the same time. He was definitely an anomaly, and I found myself completely lost in his golden brown eyes as I eagerly waited to hear anything else he had to say.
"Are you ok?" he asked when I didn't respond to whatever he was saying. He probably thought I was mentally unstable…maybe he was right - I should probably go see the village doctor.
"Uh…yeah, I'm fine," I finally managed to say. "I'm just not supposed to be here so I guess I'm a little nervous you're going to tell someone."
He smiled crookedly. "Don't worry about it. I'm not exactly one for rules and conformity anyway."
I laughed once. "Well, being here may be quite an adjustment for you then."
He shrugged. "I doubt I'll stay long….What's with the whole guard dog thing here anyway?"
"Oh, the shape shifters? They protect us from vampires…not that there are ever any here."
He looked slightly troubled. "They can kill vampires? How do they spot one?"
"They can smell them, especially while in wolf form. But vampires are pretty easy to spot for anyone," I told him. "I mean, besides the red eyes, they are vicious monsters who can't control themselves when humans are around."
He laughed again. "And how many vampires have you ever seen?"
I bit my bottom lip and folded my arms. I had teased Jacob about never actually seeing a vampire before, and there I was being teased as well. "I've lived within the safety of the wall most of my life," I admitted. "But the schools teach the kids all about them, and the elders make sure everyone knows everything we should."
"I see," he replied with a grin that made my heart palpitate.
"And how many vampires have you ever seen?" I asked, refusing to allow the curious way my body was reacting to the beautiful stranger side track my current train of thought.
"Enough," he said vaguely.
"How are you still alive if you've been around vampires?" I questioned. Vampires were merciless; there was no way he'd live through crossing paths with one so I highly doubted he ever really saw one either.
"It's kind of a long story," he said dismissively.
A gust of wind suddenly came up, blowing his wild bronze colored hair all over the place, and he abruptly became anxious.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
"Nothing," he said quietly. He stayed still as if he was listening for something, so I did the same but heard absolutely nothing.
"So…you must have seen my brother recently," I said, hoping for any peace of mind I could find about Em.
"Your brother?" he asked confused as he continued to listen to the phantom noises in the distance.
"Emmett. He was the one who found you and sent you here," I explained, assuming he'd understand.
"Oh…Emmett, right. Yeah, he's fine," he said vacantly. He looked past me so I turned around to see what he was looking at, and that was when I heard footsteps coming quickly towards us.
"Bella!" someone called, and then Jacob came into view. "There you are, thank god," he said relieved.
"What's going on?" I asked concerned.
Jacob suddenly became very still, much like the stranger had done, and then he almost looked like he was sniffing the air. "We need to get you home."
"Why?" I asked, but without answering me he grabbed my arm and tried to forcefully pull me away. "What are you doing?" I asked angrily and then turned back to the guy I had been speaking to…but he was gone. It was like he just disappeared.
"Bella, there's a vampire!" Jacob shouted at me.
"What?" I nearly screamed back. "Here?"
"YES!" he yelled, and then continued to tug me towards my home.
"How? Did it follow the last group of people in?" I asked in a panic, wondering what happened to my friend whose name I never learned. He was new, he wouldn't know where to go for protection…. Where were we supposed to go?
"No, the wolves said they weren't followed, but a vamp's definitely been here. It's stench is all over the town."
"Oh my god," I whispered to myself.