Chapter 1. William and Alton.
POV: William, a Soldier from the Volturi.
Year: Winter 1860
Three years I´ve been stuck with this low life jerk; at first I thought that it might have been a preconceived notion of mine, but the more I get to know him the more aware I become that monsters do exist and they fall under three different categories:
First, there are the human monsters, selfish creatures that can only think of their own pleasure, no matter how far they need to go.
Second, there are the kind like me: vampires. We kill to satiate our thirst, not caring who our victim is.
Third, which is the worst kind, is a mixture of the two previous ones: a human monster who was transformed into a vampire. Lucky for me, I was stuck with one as my partner.
I don´t know why the masters decided to put Alton and me together for this quest; we couldn´t be any more different from each other. Maybe that was the actual reason. All I know, I need to make the masters happy, so if being with this asshole is what it takes, so be it.
I do believe our quest to be completely and utterly pointless. Searching for any signs of the Children of the Moon, pffft… is like saying go and bring me proof that the Boogey Man exists.
On the bright side, at least I have an excuse to run away from her, without getting on her bad side. If the masters order it, then it has to be followed.
I know most of the male vampires envy me for being chosen by her—I´ve made some enemies just by that simple fact—but it's not as if I had a word to say about it. I never had, not even when she decided to transform me into a vampire. This quest seemed like the answer I was looking for when it was assigned, until I met him.
"William," he starts approaching me, "daydreaming about Heidi again?" He joins my side, a smirk on his lips. Seems that his feeding was successful. I don´t dare to ask anymore; with him less is better, especially anything regarding that activity. He is not happy about me not sharing his same ´taste´ requirements, but kids and clerical people are off the menu for me and I don´t find any entertainment in ´playing´ with my food.
"I´ve told you. I am not interested in her." He looks at me as if I am crazy man.
"That is not what I kept seeing over and over and over." He grinds his groin in such a despicable way. I always tried to be discrete, but Heidi found it very exciting to do it in any imaginable place, so I am not sure if somebody actually got a glimpse of us. Alton could very well be making it up just to piss me off. I won´t give him the benefit.
"That is in the past. I have a clearer mind right now." I know about Heidi´s ability; once you are her target is almost impossible to say no to her, to whatever demand she wants.
"Wait 'til we go back; you might think differently after you see her again. I am sure she has quite a lot of energy stored for her ´little pet´." He laughs at his own joke, his booming laughter annoying me to the high heavens.
"I really don´t care what you think, Alton." I walk ahead of him, leaving him behind with his dark sense of humor.
It's not that I don´t like Heidi. She is very beautiful; indeed, physically, she is the perfect woman, voluptuous in all the right places, her long toned legs that only a few lucky bastards have been able to see, her small waist inviting you to wrap your arms around, her beautiful face, not a single imperfection on it. Men have fallen head over heels for her; who know how many sonnets humans and vampires have written about her beauty, or songs trying to capture her heart, but everything falls short of what she is looking for. With Heidi, things are simple; as long as you have the physical beauty that is worthy of her own and the right moves in bed, nothing else matters. Not sentiments, not intelligence, nothing.
However, that is not what I am looking for; if that was the case I would have settled a long time ago. As a human, I had enough girls chasing me; I was offered position and money from whatever kind of women you could think of: single, widows, and even married ones. However, I would not settle; if I were planning to spend the rest of my life with someone, she needed to be much more. Mother taught me well… Love is the key element for a long lasting relationship; your partner needs to be your friend and be compatible with you. Considering that I am now a vampire and my life span is a lot longer than a human, being tied down to the wrong girl would just add an extra weight to my own personal hell.
However, love is not in Heidi's plans; she just wants to be worshipped and looked up at by the rest of our community. She might think she loves me, just because I qualify for her own personal requirements; the problem is she doesn´t qualify on mine. The only thing that I was able to resist was telling her that I love her; it might not be much, but at least I managed to save a small piece of my dignity.
Alton catches up with me, his mood changing to business mode.
"William, the map." I pull the map from my cloak. I´ve marked what area we have covered and point to which area we need to take care of next.
Alton comes to my side and takes the map from my hands and starts analyzing it.
I look at all the red areas and feel some pride in our work.
These past three years we have covered a great expanse of land, although not as fast as I could wish, considering that most of each month we stay within the city walls, keeping a low profile, looking out for any probable rumor, story, or even town gossip that we can, just to make sure where to focus during the full moon. Well, at least I have; Alton, on the other hand, spent those days capturing and torturing young maidens until he finally drained the life out of them, creating a new set of gossip for the town.
When the full moon hits the sky, that is when the running starts; we move quickly through mountains, deserts… no forest is too deep, no cavern too dark. Any kind of sign is enough for us to make sure the area has no rock left unturned. I don´t know what a Child of the Moon looks or even smells like—I´ve only heard the description from the masters and Alton; that should be enough.
Alton has seen them. He accompanied Jane and Alec on one of their missions; he is happy to tell me the story over and over, with no editing, regarding how they ripped apart the creatures, killing every single one of them they were able to find. Alec was in charge of incapacitating the creatures and controlling them until the sun was up in the sky. Jane was in charge of torturing them, getting the truth of the location of others, while they were in their human form. Alton and a small group of guards were responsible for locating, tearing them apart and killing them, then burning their remains to the ground.
One by one they were falling. With the information that Jane was able to get from them, their expedition was not as long—no need to wait for the full moon—they knew where to find them. To make sure, they would kill anybody close to them—fathers, mothers, kids, even neighbors; so many innocent died, just to make sure the virus wouldn´t spread. According to Alton, they have become extinct.
Every now and then, another expedition would take place; so far, no new Children of the Moon have been found. So now, it is our turn; it seems we are halfway to ending this nonsense.
"Time to move east." Alton folds the map and not too kindly shoves it towards me. I put it back inside one of the pockets of my cloak. I can tell that his good mood is dimming; he enjoys the time we stay in the towns, but looking around for what he now refers to as a "myth" is something that he finds utterly boring. Orders are orders and he has every intention of regaining Aro´s approval and keeping Caius's esteem high.
"Let´s see if you can keep up with me," he says and turns to see my reaction. I keep my face serious, pretending I didn´t hear him. Sure, asshole, keep thinking that, but one day I´ll prove you wrong!
He starts running; he is not as fast as I am, but I let him believe that he is. The last thing I want is for him to ask me for a rematch. I´ve seen how terrible a loser he can be, same as Felix. They constantly keep fighting each other just to prove who is stronger and, honestly, it's annoying; so, for my benefit, I let him think he is better. I couldn´t give a damn.
Three years of seeing this guy's backside have taught me his moves. He, being the leader and knowing the enemy better, moves in front, deciding the direction where to go. He has become so predictable, placing too much trust on his instincts and brute force, not giving much thought on what is the smarter way to move. Lucky for me, I control the map and pretty much tell him in an indirect way where to go next; otherwise, we would probably be running in circles.
We start running swiftly through the taiga of Siberia; I like this kind of vegetation, with the forest covered in pine, spruces, and larches, probably not the best kind of terrain when you are looking for a mythical creature, lots of places to hide, making our task harder and slower than expected. However, our senses are on high alert and any kind of noise, smell, or movement makes us go back and take a second look at it. We keep this rhythm for six hours.
I am usually very calm, keeping a cool head during these kinds of explorations, but somehow tonight has been different. I feel my nerves creeping up; the further we go into the forest, the jumpier I become.
Alton hasn´t missed this; he gives me warning looks every now and then, making it clear that I need to stay focused, but I can´t. I feel that I am being followed, yet every time I turn around, there is nothing. The wind that comes straight from the east caresses our faces without bringing any strange aroma, but then again, if somebody is following us, the wind would be carrying our scents to the pursuers.
"Alton," I say, trying to keep my voice as low as I can. I know he hears but he ignores me. "We should go back, I have a hunch…"
"Soldier, keep up, we´ve already covered that area. There's no point in turning back." I know that I annoyed him; he likes to use his rank to make it clear who the boss is.
I hear a howl very far away, coming from the north; my eyes, being on Alton, don´t miss the small flinch that he tries to suppress. We´ve heard wolves howling in the past; this one is different, and Alton knows it based on his reaction.
"Alton." I try to get his attention, but he keeps on moving, as if nothing happened.
Another howl coming from the south finally makes him come to a complete stop. I am able to read his movements and avoid crashing into him. He turns towards me, his mouth shaped into a terrifying grin. I´ve seen it all before. He chooses his newest victim, a dark plan forming in the back of his mind, the sheer excitement of knowing that he will bring suffering to another creature and make their life a living hell for as long as they can keep up.
A third howl coming from the west makes me realize there is only one direction for us to keep on running. I start running but Alton stays puts.
"SOLDIER, STOP! Let them come," he screams at the top of his lungs, a disgusting pleasure in his voice. "We can take them down." If the creatures were not certain where we were, he just gave them a clear idea of our current location.
"They are in their wolf form." I remember the small piece of information that Alton taught me. A Child of the Moon in its wolf form is faster and stronger than most of the average vampires— having the advantage of a stronger jaw, they can easily pull us apart. Rumor has it Master Caius was almost killed by one and, right now, there are three headed our way.
"But they are dumber," he says, the excitement in his voice growing.
What the hell? I know who is the dumbest of us all and it is not a Child of the Moon.
"It will be easier to track them during the daytime when they can´t phase," I say while I start hearing a low growling getting closer.
"No, they might hide. Our orders are clear, soldier; it's time to fight!" He puts his hands together and starts cracking his knuckles. He turns, his back now against mine, waiting for the enemy to come.
I start rethinking my choices and conclude that it would have been better to stay back with the sexy, controlling vampire rather than with the sadistic, crazy, ugly one. However, I didn´t have a choice about that decision—right now I do. I could leave him alone and let them kill Alton, making the world a better place. When daylight comes, I would track them and ´avenge´ his murder, therefore complying with the masters' orders. But we are a team, and as such, it is better for us to work together.
I turn around, tempted by the choice that my mind just thought of, just to realize that Alton is no longer next to me, his footprints clearly marked down in the snow towards the east.
SON OF A BITCH! He just left me here with the werewolves to keep them entertained.
The growls are getting nearer from all three directions. Time to show Alton that I am not as slow as he thinks I am.