A.N.: Hey guys! I know I haven't updated in forever, and I'm really, really sorry. This story is a [relatively] happy one, and I had a really crappy few months, so I couldn't find it in myself to write this story. So I hope this chapter is long enough and not too crappy for your taste…

Disclaimer: I do not own the Twilight universe or its characters, Stephanie Meyer does.

2. Getting Out

"WHEN I WOKE UP THE NEXT MORNING, I PULLED ON A PAIR OF comfortable running shoes and some sturdy clothes and then snuck out to hunt.

Though my thirst was for human blood, I continued hunting according to what had been my family's diet—I drank animal blood.

The first couple of years with Jake I needed his company on my hunts; I was afraid I might catch a human scent and try to hunt it. Jacob always complied, but I had a feeling it had more to do with his paranoia than with a stranger human's safety. No matter how much time passed, that didn't seem to lessen (the paranoia). But as I grew older and bigger, and more insistent, Jacob finally eased up on the subject. He let me hunt alone as long as I stayed in a fifty-mile radius from wherever he was, stayed away from human residence, and trained.

His last condition had me puzzled. Train? Train in what? He didn't have an answer. "Everything," he had said, "anything we can think of." Thus it came to be that I learned to track, navigate, fight, use face-to-face combat, and even use a gun. I had been surprised when he had brought the small, black gun to the motel we stayed in.

"You know it can't hurt me," I protested, pointed to the weapon in disgust.

"We don't know that. Besides, it can hurt me, and it can hurt humans. It's just a precaution," he assured.

So I trained and became an excellent shot. I traveled with it in a special case that hung from my shoulder. No matter how much time passed, every time I touched it I could see my father's furious face, as it probably would have looked had he known that his precious, little, and only daughter was trained in shooting, and was personally carrying the cold, metallic weapon.

I ran, my elbows grazing against my sides, and I felt relieved that there was nothing there. Carrying the gun truly was a burden.

I halted and looked around for the source of the thudding. Off to the west, I heard the slow thudding of an elk's heart. After a few seconds of listening, I heard four more. Small herd, but it would still do.

I wasn't as fast as a vampire, but I was fast enough for hunts.

I took off to the west, running quickly, silently, towards the prey. I hid behind a tree for a few seconds, and then pounced.

I drank the elk's blood, afterwards chasing down another deer and drinking its blood too.

I was full, at least for a while. I would have to feed again before we reached more populated areas.

I wiped a bit of blood off my lips and licked it from my fingers. Then I turned, and ran back, east to the cabin.

"Good morning!" Jake called when I entered the house through the back door, walking into the living room. The cabin we were currently staying in had an open living room and kitchen area, divided by a marble-top kitchen island with high chairs on the side of the living room (so when you sit there, you're facing the kitchen). Jake was standing in front of the kitchen island, cooking on the stove there.

I could smell his breakfast cooking; eggs, bacon, and toast. I didn't particularly like the smell of human food, but I had gotten used to it. I had no choice; when we stayed in cities or over-populated areas with nowhere to hunt I had to survive on human food. It kept me full and strong, but the blood—though animal blood—tasted better.

"Good morning to you too," I said, grinning.

I entered the kitchen area and sat on the other side of the island stove from him.

"Do you want some?" He raised the pan filled with scrambled eggs.

"I just hunted."

He frowned. "Right, right…" He sat down next to me, his plate piled high with food.

I watched him as he ate.

Jake was my everything; he was my only connection to my old life, he had been my protector for six years, and he was my best friend.

I smiled and shook my head.

"What?" he asked, his voice muffled by his full mouth.

"Nothing," I chuckled. "But if you keep eating this much I'll have to go into town and buy some more food."

"Okay."

"Yeah?" I was surprised. Jake was so overprotective, that he was sometimes afraid to walk around people. He was afraid of the sun suddenly breaking out of the clouds and my skin glimmering, and someone noticing … Or that the smell of human blood and sound of human hearts pounding would be too much for me to handle… The fact that he was letting me go into town was incredible, and rare.

"Sure."

"Thanks Jake." I got up, kissed him on the cheek, and ran to my room to dig out a wad of cash from its hiding place. I put it in a wallet, and put that inside the purse that carried what we needed most: our fake passports, fake IDs, and driver's licenses (I had gotten mine a few months prior). I pulled the strap over my shoulder and walked out of the room back to the kitchen.

"Jake, grab a shirt or something; you're coming with me," I declared.

He was washing the dishes, and turned around to look at me in surprise.

"Why?"

"We both need new clothes. You only have one more set of clothes other than these pants, and you'll burst out of them soon enough. And I, well, I grew." I cleared my throat awkwardly.

He sized me up and shrugged. "Not by much."

"But enough. Besides, the friction tears the clothes when I travel on your back."

I rarely ever rode on Jake's back nowadays. If we had to, I did, but normally I enjoyed running myself. Sometimes when we traveled really long distances, we would run full days. When I got tired, I rode on Jake's back, sometimes even slept while he continued to run. He was better than me at that—running for long distances. When we ran together he was always making sure to run at my speed, which was slightly slow for him. Of course, I could run faster, but it was easier to run long distances in that pace, so Jake settled. Not only could he run faster than me, but he could also run for longer periods of time too. All in all, the only way I could ever beat Jake in running was if he was in his human form.

"I'm not planning on busting out of my clothes anytime soon," he said, almost like a by-the-way comment, as if it didn't have much importance. But the offended tone of his voice gave him away—he had been hurt by my innocent comment on his sometimes fragile self-control.

I rolled my eyes. "This isn't to offend you Jake. I simply know that soon enough you'll get panicky when I go hunt, or you lash out about something. It's bound to happen; always does. You might as well face the facts and come shopping with me."

We simply stood across from each other, staring. I knew how he'd cave; he could never bear to say no to me. And after a few minutes he did so, with a sigh.

"Fine," he muttered, "but I choose what to wear and what to buy myself; I won't have you dressing me up like some puppet."

I smiled victoriously. "Of course not, silly, since when do I do that?"

He rolled his eyes, but I could see the corner of his lips pulling up.

"Besides, we don't need anything nice; we need sturdy and comfortable. As long as it lasts, I'm willing to buy it. I won't spend unnecessary money on anything else."

An amused smile was plastered on/across his face. "Your mother would be so proud. Alice on the other hand…" he snorted "Alice would be furious."

The light, bubbly feeling of happiness slipped away from me at the mention of my deceased family members. A moment passed and I managed a small smile. "I guess they would be. Not that it matters."

An uncomfortable silence fell.

Eventually Jake walked away for a few minutes and returned with a shirt and shoes on.

"You've got the purse, right?"

I shook myself out of my stupor and nodded. "Yeah, yeah, yes, of course."

He paused, put a hand on my shoulder, and looked into my eyes. "Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine."

"Okay then, let's go."

"Let's go."

A.N.: Review! I'll do my best to update soon, but I need to know what you guys think. So please, please, review!