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maybe you should keep your mind on the hunt



1. maybe you should keep your mind on the hunt

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I can't help it. My mind is completely preoccupied with thoughts of Bella; I'm worried. I'm afraid that, as fragile as she is, something will happen during the one weekend I'm away from her. Knowing Bella, she could trip over her own two feet and land in the hospital. The prospect of leaving her alone for three entire days is horrifying.

But I have to hunt. There's only so long I can last before a monster roars within my chest, forcing me to drink the blood of something. I hate my existence, although it's been much more fulfilling now that Bella is in my life. If I want to keep her around, though, I have to hunt every one in a while.

I'm nervous. Jasper senses it and he rolls his eyes, stalking to the next room. Emmett should be downstairs any minute, and then we'll leave.

Rosalie's thoughts float down to me. I can't believe he's worried about that stupid human. And you know I don't care if you hear me, Edward.

Before I can stop listening, I see the image of Rosalie walking in on Emmett, flexing in front of the mirror. Her screech echoes down the stairs: "You're such a goddamn diva!"

I chuckle quietly, and Emmett runs down to stand in front of me. "It's not funny," he says.

x x x

We're resting -- Emmett just finished off his first grizzly, and he's satisfied for the moment. He teases me, "Maybe you could have caught something if your head hadn't been in the clouds."

"Either that," I mutter disinterestedly, "or you're just much better than I am."


Silence. Then:

"I'm worried about Bella," I suddenly blurt out. Emmett groans and rolls his eyes, but I keep talking. "Something could have happened to her. I hate to imagine the worst, but, well...with Bella, it very well could be the worst."

"Edward," he says seriously. "Don't try to imagine the horrible things that could happen. Think of all the fun she might be having. That's usually what I do. But in this case, maybe I should consider Bella's debilitating clumsiness..."

It's my turn to groan. "Emmett, you're not helping."

"What?" He's on the defensive. "It's true. I mean, she could have tripped on a rock and landed on her head. Or she could have drowned in the bathtub. Or --"

"How did you end up being the one driving me crazy?"

Emmett grins widely. "Works every time."

x x x

I pace, back and forth across a stretch of dark soil. Emmett's sitting on the ground with his back against a tree, watching me with a bemused expression on his face.

"I hope nothing happens. It's been two days already, Emmett! She could have died by now."

Emmett doesn't look properly mournful. "One way to find out," he says, digging out a flashy Sidekick with a bright red case.

"You hunt with that thing?" I ask, incredulous.

He shrugs, punching some numbers into the keypad. "It's got Tetris." He puts the phone up to his ear and it rings once. Then I hear Alice's voice laughing.

"No, Emmett, Bella's not dead yet."

She giggles once more, then hangs up. Stuffing his phone into his pocket again, Emmett grins at me, pleased. "See? Told you."

I stare, disgusted, at the place where the phone had been. "I hope it's turned off. Nothing like a ringtone to make you lose your focus during a hunt."

"Gold Digger."


"That's my ringtone."

I put a hand across my face and sigh. "I have no idea what you're talking about, nor do I particularly care. Right now, all I care about is Bella and her safety. Alice simply stated that Bella isn't dead, but perhaps she overlooked an injury? Maybe Alice didn't think it was important enough to mention that Bella broke her arm, or sprained an ankle, or contracted hepatitis..."

Emmett made a yawning motion with his hand. "Dude, her safety is not related to the amount of worrying you do, okay?"

"...or one of those human murderers could have snuck into her room. That would never happen if I was with her, because I stay at her side throughout the entire night..."

"Edward. Shut up."

"...but I can't help thinking she's fallen into the ocean, maybe. She seems susceptible to drowning..."

Emmett stands up and walks over to me. He shoves me into the nearest tree and before I've even processed this fact, before I've had time to object, he's kissing me. It's calm and quiet, and somehow it reminds me of Jasper sending calming waves throughout my body. Because this is what the kiss is doing: slowing down my hyperactivity and all my worries, gradually. We're there for a while, and I eventually wrap my arms around his neck and collapse into him. It feels good to finally stop fretting about things I can't control, to just give those worries up to someone else, for a change.

Emmett pulls back and looks at me. "Now are you going to shut up?"

x x x

I'm almost home. My pace increases and soon I'm running faster than I can remember ever running. I don't stop at my house. I keep going, dashing across streets when necessary, never more than a white blur. I make my way to the old house naturally, as if there were a path laid out in the ground before me and it's the simplest thing in the world to follow it.

Bella's sleeping, I can tell from here -- her even breathing reaches my ears at the same time that her overpowering, delicious scent does.

I climb into her bedroom through her window. Then I settle myself into her rocking chair, content to watch my beautiful angel in her peaceful dreams. She's murmuring again: my name flows from her lips as easily as her breath does. I've forgotten about the hunt, and I've forgotten about Emmett.

All I can think is, It's good to be home.