Sorry for the delay. Vacations are supposed to be relaxing with plenty of time to write, but that's just not my style. Back on track now.
I once again own nothing. No Twilight. No free time. Just silly ideas.
The Bloody Path
We walked at human pace through the woods trying to catch any hint of her scent. The further we went, the more unsure I became that we would be able to find her at all. Laurent was sure of himself; he's been at it longer and has been trained to hide human bodies specifically.
When we reached just outside of the meadow, Alice slowed to a stop.
"I'll stay back here," she thought. "Give you a moment alone."
I tried to thank her, but no words would come. I could only nod and continue on to the opening.
It was somewhat the same. It looked the same and smelled the same. The rare sun was out today, just as it was the first time we came here.
But it was wrong; it was all wrong.
The loss of Bella seemed to put a haze over the field; or maybe it was just me.
The calm wind picked up suddenly, instantly filling me with her scent. I felt whole for the first time in so long; though it didn't last.
I crossed the meadow to the spot where Bella was standing in the vision. I don't know what I was expecting to find, but I certainly did not expect to see the grass matted down with blood.
There wasn't a lot, but far more than a vampire would have left behind. It was slightly old, with a hint of a light rain.
But it was her's; it was Bella's.
Being reminded of her scent made it easier to find it again. Just a few paces away, a smaller spot and then another one after that.
The more I found, the further apart they became.
I was quickly out of the meadow and walking deep into the woods. The trail of blood continued; only a few drops in each spot now.
Being so close to her blood again, almost sent me into a frenzy; just like when I first met her. Only this time, it wasn't thirst. This time, it was desperation.
Laurent wouldn't have done this.
What happened after he bit her?
Why couldn't Alice see this path?
My speed picked up and I continued on in the forest. I was panting like an old man running a mile, but I've never felt more energetic. The only reason for breathing at all was to keep track of her scent.
"Edward, stop!" I could hear Alice yell behind me.
But I couldn't.
Laurent couldn't have killed her in the meadow. He couldn't have let all of this blood go to waste after working himself up for it.
And where is she now?
"Edward!" The thundering crack of Alice running into me echoed for miles around us.
"Let me go, Alice!" I couldn't stop; the blood didn't. I had to keep going.
Alice continued to fight against me, yelling both in her head and out loud. "Edward, you can't!"
"It's her, Alice. Something took her."
"I know, I can smell it too. But you're about to cross the treaty line. Once you cross, I can't see you."
She used my distraction to force her vision on me. I watched as I crossed that invisible line, ran a few feet, and everything went black.
"Please, Edward. Please," she thought.
I stopped fighting her, but didn't fully relax.
"What does it matter, Alice? That's going to happen as soon as I find her anyway."
"But that's just it," she argued. "I don't see you finding her."
With those words, I lost all of my fight.
"I have to find her. For Charlie; I have to." My heart ached once again for the man who recently, and rightfully so, became leery of me spending time with his daughter.
"I keep losing Charlie."
My head snapped up. "What?"
"I keep losing him," she repeated out loud. "Sometimes he clear, going on with his he's just... gone."
I could see the visions in her mind. Charlie seemed to be doing alright at first; then, just like if I crossed the line, everything went black.
"We have to try, Alice. For him; we have to."
She nodded and walked away from me; following the path as far as she could, before stopping at the line.
"It continues on quite a way."
I straightened and took in my new surroundings. "What if we went around the border? Just in case she's on the other side."
I paused for a minute, expecting a vision or comment from Alice.
But all was silent.
"Alice?" I walked towards her. "What do you see?"
"Nothing," she gasped.
"What do you mean, nothing?"
"I can't see us at all."
Her mind was completely blank. The harder she tried to see, the more consuming the blackness became.
"Something's wrong, Edward."
Before I could ask, a low rumbling started deeper into the trees; a growling.
I didn't have to smell them to know what was out there, their thoughts were enough.
"Bloodsucker has a lot of nerve coming back here."
"You are not wrong, Alice."
I suppose every hunting party has them.