I know you are all out there watching the Grammys, Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead (I'm flipping between 1 & 3), but I figured you would appreciate an update. It's been a while. Blame my life, and FFN for screwing up lately. Thanks, as always, to the lovely and stupendous beachcomberlc for beta'ing this mess.
I don't own Twilight. You are all awesome.
"I really messed up your plans, huh?" Edward answers with a hint of a smile, unsure of how to react to Bella's confession. He truly wasn't expecting to hear that she was planning to kill herself.
"You can say that again," Bella replies as she leans against a rather thin tree and it falls easily under the pressure from her body, surprising her yet again.
"You have to realize that killing yourself is not an option now. Carlisle tried for years after his change to no avail. It's just not possible," Edward explains as Bella attempts to pick up the tree and right it, only to have it fall to the ground once again.
"So I can't kill myself, I'm destined to stay this way for eternity, and I don't particularly want to be a mother, especially to a … human child who I can't even care for in my current state." Bella leaves the tree alone and sits back down beside Edward with a very loud sigh. "What in the fuck do I do now?"
"Well, first of all, you can stop worrying about caring for your daughter. She's in good hands."
"She's with vampires," Bella counters; her tone ripe with sarcasm.
"Yes, she is, but they have hundreds of years of experience avoiding human blood and nothing has happened in the past few days, so I'm not expecting anything to threaten her. Anyway," Edward begins to add as Bella turns to look at him, curious. "No one in the family finds her scent… appealing."
"So, they won't eat her because she smells bad? Sort of like how people don't eat spoiled food?" Bella questions as Edward nods in agreement. "How is even that possible?"
"I was hoping you could tell me that," Edward replies, as Bella freezes suddenly. She stands, her body stiff, as Edward sees her eyes flutter and her nose jut out slightly. She's hungry and she's caught the scent of something. Before he has a chance to explain this to Bella, she's gone running off after whatever it is that she smells.
Edward immediately follows, quickly passing through the trees and bushes, until he finds Bella clutching a tree for dear life as a pair of hikers dressed for the frigid temperatures makes their way along a nearby path. Edward grasps Bella's arm tightly, but she easily shakes him off, as she glares at the pair as they move out of sight. When Bella turns around and comes face to face with Edward, she is surprised by the look on his face.
"What you did…that's almost impossible for a newborn," Edward explains as Bella looks at him with confusion clear on her face. "You came within 200 feet of two human and didn't immediately lunge for his throat to drain them of every ounce of their blood. I still have difficulty being around some people."
"Isn't this a good sign?" Bella laments with a roll of her eyes. "I mean, you guys don't want me to eat humans, right? If I choose to stay with you, I have to become a… whatever you called it."
"A vegetarian, and yes… you do."
"So, what's the problem?"
"How can you resist the smell of their blood, Bella? It clearly called to you since you raced over two miles to find them, but you didn't eat them. Perhaps you are the only living vampire with no blood lust?" Edward wonders aloud. "We need to take you back to see Carlisle."
"I need to eat something, Edward. I feel horrible and I have no energy." Edward motions for Bella to follow him and he quickly dashes away, with her right on his heels.
Even with her lack of energy, Bella is doing a good job of keeping up with him as they make their way into denser woods and she watches with rapt attention as Edward lunges and takes down a deer right before her eyes.
As she approaches anxiously, she can see the bite marks in the animal's neck, and Edward looks spotless. "Did you see how I did that?" Bella nods her head softly. "There's another deer just down the ridge a little bit. Go give it a try."
Bella is hesitant at first and with good reason. She's about to slaughter a defenseless animal to extinguish her own need for blood. As she moves a few feet forward, she can see the deer in the distance. He's standing there, looking around the forest with purpose, as though he senses a predator in the area. Bella can't stop herself this time as she bounds down the ridge and immediately sinks her teeth into the thick hide of the deer, draining him dry before she can even come to terms with what she has done.
As she wipes her hand across her mouth, she looks up to see Edward standing there, watching her intently. "You're a natural."
"Is there such thing?" Bella questions, as she stands up and wipes her bloody hands against her pants. She's certain she looks a mess, with twigs and pine needles in her hair, and blood all over her face and clothes. However, she also feels infinitely better.
"To be honest, I'm not sure. I've never encountered someone who has adjusted to this lifestyle as quickly as you have," Edward admits easily. "I think there are another one or two deer around here, if you are interested." Bella doesn't have to be told twice, and before she knows it, she has drained another deer and actually feels full.
After racing around the forest for so long, Bella and Edward finally sit down on the edge of a small lake and he can't help but look over at her. Bella is bent over the cold water and is washing off her face, trying to remove the bloody remnants of her lunch, so to speak.
"Do you know where we are?" Bella asks, as she settles back against a felled tree.
"I think we are about an hour and a half northwest of Forks. In fact, if my assumptions are right, I think we are at Swan Bay, on the edge of Ozette Lake."
"Did we go through the reserve?" Bella asks, as she grabs a rock and attempts to skip it across the lake, but it goes much further than she expected. A downfall of her superior strength, she supposes.
"Did you mean the Quileute Reservation? No… we went further north." Edward focuses on Bella, as she turns rocks over in her hands, and he knows there is more she wants to say. Though he hasn't really missed the ability to read her mind, for a brief moment, he wishes he knew what she was thinking. Instead, he tries a different tactic.
"We can't go there."
"It's just…back in the 1930's we signed a treaty with some members from the Quileute Reservation that said we couldn't step foot on their land, nor could we create anymore vampires or kill any humans," Edward explains. "Needless to say, we're not going to tell them about you."
"Yeah, but… Jared…" Bella pauses and Edward stares at her attentively. She throws another rock as Edward begins to put two and two together.
"Shit," he curses. "Jared is Quileute, isn't he?"
"Which means Tiny is…" Edward drifts off, not wanting to startle Bella any further by telling her that people on the Quileute reservation shape shift into wolves in the presence of too many vampires. However, he realizes that the reason his family doesn't find the baby appealing is because she's half human and half wolf. "We need to get back to the house. Now."