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Monster by Marauder by Midnight I've always been a monster. Discarded and ignored by the only people I knew. Until he came along.

Some of the quotes you'll recognize to be from Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer.

1. Monster

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2904   Review this Chapter

By Marauder by Midnight

All I could see was Douglas’ bare back, but even if I didn’t notice the way his muscles were clenched tightly together, I knew something horrid awaited us at the end of the field. The air was too still; even the wind seemed afraid to stir the lush grass beneath my exposed feet. No woodland creature chirped, crept, climbed, or called. Nothing existed except us… and them.

There would be eight of them, Riley had told us. Eight golden-eyed vamps like us, only they were able to walk amongst the living without going mad with desire. Secretly, I was awed by such self-control. How do they manage without the rich taste of viscous blood washing down their throats? How do they ignore the scent of ambrosia and turn instead to the less quenching blood of lowly animals? I wanted to peer around Douglas to catch a glimpse of these Cullens. But no, to break formation now would be hazardous to our survival.

As Douglas stood surveying the enemy, I wondered fleetingly where Riley could’ve gone. Unlike the restless ones in our group, I did not believe he had abandoned us, sacrificing us to save his life. Perhaps he went to join the mysterious Mistress. Yes, that was it. He was, after all, the only connection the rest of us had with our creator. Before leaving, he had left Douglas, a large black-haired man, in charge. He would’ve been a fearless warrior and worthy asset on our side. If only he could think faster.

For the first time, I felt uneasy. The numbers were too even to be of comfort. Only nine of us against their eight. Only nine, half of whom have still not completely integrated into the whole vampire thing, fighting for survival against eight of the oldest and most successful beings of our kind. We shouldn’t have split up, I thought as I masked my nervousness behind my blank expression. Damn Douglas for sending the other nine after that pungent odor we had first smelled in the forest.

I could imagine Douglas’ face now: scrunched up in concentration and scrutinizing the playing field, hoping vainly that his brain might concoct something smart for a change. This man, I concluded, was good for only one thing: fighting. As if on cue, Douglas relaxed his arms and let out a loud bellow. Taking it as the signal to attack, those around me screamed and hollered as well. Suddenly, we were off.

I felt the air blowing back my short black hair, tickling my chin and neck. I smiled as my legs pounded against the earth below me. This is what I loved about what I had become. The freedom, the rush, the excitement. The power.

As we got closer, I understood why Douglas had hesitated earlier – there were seven, not eight, pairs of yellow eyes staring back at us. What was the meaning of this? Hadn’t Riley told us that there would be eight here? Hadn’t he stressed how important it was for us to strengthen for this battle? Could this be related with what he and the Mistress were doing right his very moment?

I turned my attention back to the beings on the opposite side of the field. The ones we were charging at. The ones who would die. They stood calmly, resembling the civil nature of…whatever I had been before this. All of them held tight and battle-ready postures – save one. In that fleeting second before Douglas pounced, I got a good look at one of the others.

The blond-haired man near the center, his beauty seemingly outshining those surrounding him, stood almost casually and reluctantly. Though he stared back at our oncoming attack with the same determined eyes as the others, I detected a sadness – a resignation – behind those shockingly golden irises, which seemed to lock on to my blood-red ones with little effort. I felt myself drawn to them, the enigmatic deepness that weren’t reflected in the eyes of his comrades.

Too soon, real time began again, and he was lost beneath the body of his attacker. Before I could mourn the loss of the man, a feral growl to my right caught my attention. Just in time, I dodged a swiping claw and slipped from beneath an arm.

I didn’t want to do this anymore. I didn’t know what I was fighting for. What had these vampires done to us? Why would the Mistress order their deaths if we were the ones invading their territory, threatening to drink the blood of those in their domain? I thought again of those kind, sorrow-filled eyes.

I darted and wove away from any assailants but never moved to attack back. It was a dangerous dance we did. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a black-haired pixie-like figure pirouette out of the way with her howling victim’s arm in her hands. Similar ripping and screaming sounds ensued all around with no indication of stopping.

From the arms and heads that littered the ground, I could tell we were losing. None of my comrades were able to lay a finger on the golden-eyed. It was no wonder. Twice already, I had to evade the frenzied and sloppy attack of my fellow vamps. That was our weakness: we were too wild, too willing to yield to the temptation our powers gave us. Staring onto the onslaught before me, I knew that there was only one possible way to survive. Thank God Douglas provided me with the way out.

While watching the dance around me, I felt a sharp yank on my arm. I let out a cry and turned to see Douglas’ furious red eyes glaring down at me. “What are you doing, Bree?” he roared. “You’re supposed to be helping out, not sulking in the middle of the field!” His white teeth were snapping mere inches from my face, yet I forced myself not to flinch, for I had already decided.

With a roar unfamiliar to my lips, I launched myself onto him. I saw his eyes widen with surprise before narrowing with determination and ferocity. We landed on the ground with me on top of him. I thought this as my advantage, but I sorely underestimated his strength. I blindly grabbed for his arm to snap off, but he didn’t make it easy for me. He kept his arms constantly moving, giving me no opportunity to harm him and confusing me with his hasty and blurred movement.

I felt teeth sink into my shoulder. Pain shot through me, and I stopped to let out a howl. I prepared myself to feel my arm being wretched from my body, but instead, I felt strong arms wrap around me and pull me up. I heard Douglas snarl and yelp. I opened my eyes, but my savior had already turned and carried me a short distance away.

I was dropped ungracefully to the ground. Douglas had fallen silent. In fact, the entire field had become an eerie and deathly quiet. Suddenly, I was terrified. What was I thinking? Did I really think I could join their coven when merely seconds ago, we were so determined to destroy each other? I knew what they were going to do to me. Panicked, I jumped up and broke into a run for the trees.

Something slammed into me before I could go far. “Where do you think you’re going, little one?” the vampire on top of me growled.

“Emmett, get off of her. She’s frightened as it is,” a voice said smoothly.

After a moment’s hesitation, the body moved from on top of me. I glared at the bear-like man with irritation and pushed myself off the grass.

“You all right?” the voice said, appearing suddenly next to me. To my surprise, when I glanced over, I saw the same deep eyes that had triggered my treacherous actions. This time, he didn’t seem sad anymore – merely concerned and curious. I couldn’t do anything but nod silently before staring resolutely at my hands.

“That was a brave thing you did just then.” I didn’t respond to the answer behind his statement. “What’s your name?” he asked kindly.

“Bree,” I whispered still refusing to meet his eyes once more.

“I’m Carlisle. Carlisle Cullen. And this,” he waved an arm to the group that had surrounded us, “is my family.”

I nodded once to acknowledge them all. Carlisle watched me intently for several moments before he spoke again. “You’re interested in our lifestyle, aren’t you, Bree?”

I hesitated. Was I? Was that the reason behind my actions? No, it couldn’t be. I still loved the taste of human blood. I loved giving into the seduction of my power occasionally. I couldn’t live so deprived of the gift I had been given like the Cullens.

But what could I do? I couldn’t tell them no; they’d surely kill me then. Carlisle watched the conflict behind my eyes. “We live a very constricted life, it’s true. But over time and control, you would be able to adopt our methods and perhaps live a more fulfilling life.” His words surprised me enough to lift my head. He smiled kindly and encouragingly at me.

It was then that I decided I would live like them, even if it was painful to my pride and my willpower, if it meant I could be with Carlisle Cullen and his beauty forever. Still speechless, I nodded my consent. I felt a surge of happiness when his grin widened.

Suddenly he stood from his kneeling position to address the rest of the Cullens. “Let’s clean this mess up. Emmett, Jasper, Rosalie, go to the werewolves to make sure all is well there,” he said. Werewolves? I thought of asking what he meant, but they turned away too soon to do his bidding. However, I was able to glimpse the reactions of the others. All I saw was blank or disapproving expressions. That was fine, I smirked. I wasn’t doing this for them. I was doing it for Carlisle.

I watched as the remaining Cullens gathered the body parts on the field and set them ablaze. Soon, the three who had left returned to help. I stared onto the burning fire with remorseless eyes. I didn’t care about them much like they didn’t care about me. There were constant skirmishes between all the members of our clan, most of them ending in one or two deaths.

Images of Sara’s beheaded body and Douglas’ blank expression flashed before my eyes. She and another vampire had gone mad with desire for the girl’s scent which we stumbled upon in the woods on the way. Douglas had stared on at the broken bodies with hard eyes as the others smirked. No one cared if I died or if I lived. Not then anyway. But here, with the Cullens, I would belong. I would be with Carlisle no matter what it took, even if I had to put up with some bad relations with the rest of his family.

As I was imagining the bliss I would soon experience, a scent drifted into my nostrils. I froze. It was her scent. She was still alive? Before I could mourn the death of Riley, the closest I had to a friend, and my creator, the scent had intensified as she and another yellow-eyed vampire emerged from the trees. She widened her eyes as she caught sight of me.

This was the ultimate test: restraining against biting this girl’s heavenly scented skin and drinking her ambrosial blood. I felt myself rising just a little. No! Scrambling to anchor myself to the ground, I dug my claws into the dirt. The pixie-girl moved forward to greet them. They exchanged words, but I paid no heed to what they said. I couldn’t ignore the scent anymore and let out a woeful wail.

The honey blond-haired man next to me snarled at me and lowered himself to an offensive crouch. I lowered my head in shame but continued to mew in pain.

“Have you changed your mind, young one?” I heard Carlisle ask. I felt a stab of guilt in the softness in his voice. “We don’t want to destroy you, but we will if you can’t control yourself.”

I fought to control myself, but the outburst came before I could stop it. “How can you stand it?” I cried. “I want her!” I glared at the human who tempted me and weakened me so.

“You must stand it. You must exercise control. It is possible, and it is the only thing that will save you now.” His encouragement quieted me. I must. I must control. I glanced up at Carlisle to remind myself of whom I was doing this for. His eyes seemed anxious, as if willing me not to do what I was so driven to do. As if pleading with me not to force him to do anything he would regret. He suddenly tensed and looked beyond me toward the forest. He backed up to cluster with his family.

I wondered briefly what was happening before the human girl’s companion spoke up softly, “Welcome, Jane.”

I swiftly turned and saw five cloaked figures walking calmly toward us. My heart gripped with fear. They couldn’t mean anything good. A breeze blew the human’s scent by my nose again, and it took everything in me to keep from attacking her. I stared determinately at the ground in front of me, concentrating on controlling myself. When the aroma had dulled to a passable annoyance, I turned my attention back to what the others were saying.

The vampire who had spoke before was explaining, “Carlisle gave her the option.” It took me a moment to realize they were speaking of me.

“There are no options for those who break the rules,” Jane replied.

Carlisle spoke up then, and I smiled at the sound of his voice. “That’s in your hands. As long as she was willing to halt her attack on us, I saw no need to destroy her. She was never taught.” I felt gleeful, knowing that Carlisle was speaking up for me.

“That is irrelevant.”

“As you wish.”

I frowned at Carlisle’s words. What did he mean?

Before I could think much of it, I was snapped from my thoughts when the child spoke to me. “You there. Your name.”

I didn’t like her tone. Stupid little girl should’ve learned some manners before turning. I pressed my lips together tightly. The little girl smiled mysteriously, and suddenly I felt this mind-blowing pain course through my body. I couldn’t help but unseal my lips to let out a high-pitched scream. It felt like forever, and though I wanted to beg her to stop, I couldn’t. After what seemed like centuries, the pain subsided, leaving me panting for breath.

“Your name,” the girl named Jane said again , as if daring me to ignore her request again.

“Bree,” I answered before she could hurt me again. Nevertheless, Jane called the pain upon me once more just to play with me. I writhed and contorted in white-hot agony before she called it off again.

As I lay weakened on the ground, I heard the human’s vampire say, “You don’t have to do that.”

“Bree, is his story true? Where there twenty of you?”

I answered as quickly as I could. Anything to put off the pain. I told her about Victoria and Riley…and Carlisle’s offer. As I reached the last part, I glanced at Carlisle balefully and was surprised by the emotionless eyes I saw.

Jane smirked. “Broken rules demand a consequence.” I blinked, unable to comprehend what she meant. She turned away from me then to speak to the Cullens. I listened half-heartedly to something about Caius and dates, still wondering what Carlisle had meant. He wasn’t leaving me vulnerable, was he? He would stand up for me no matter what, even if these five cloaked figures threatened him and his family. He loved me, I was certain. He was desperate for my survival. He wanted me despite what I had done.

Wasn’t he?

“Take care of that, Felix,” Jane said with boredom. “I want to go home.”

It took me too long to realize she was once again referring to me. I saw one of the larger vampires behind her approach me with a sickening grin. Horror gripped me. I tried to crawl away, but too soon, he was on top of me. I let out a scream but was abruptly cut off when he sunk his teeth into my throat.

As parts of me were yanked away, I kept my eyes on my savior, my one-and-only. He stared back at me with the same guilt, the same sorrow that had gripped me the first time I saw him. I wanted to plead with him to save me, to love me. I opened my mouth to call his name.

I realized then that he was no different from Douglas or Riley or the ones I had hunted with. He didn’t care for me just as they didn’t care for anyone. I didn’t know how I felt about this realization. No anger, no frustration, no sorrow coursed through me. I felt nothing.

As the world became black, I was aware of only one thing: no one wanted a monster.