At that precise moment, I realized why he looked the same-too much the same. After Carlisle told us that Laurent had stayed with Tanya's family, I'd begun to picture him, on the rare occasions that I thought of him at all, with the same golden eyes that the... Cullens-I forced the name out, wincing-had. That all good vampires had.
I took an involuntary step back, and his curious, dark red eyes followed the movement.
"Why are you here?" I asked, my throat dry. Laurent smiled his heartbreakingly beautiful smile. He took a look around the clearing, almost as if to check if it was safe to talk.
"Well, Bella," he started, taking a step towards me. I willed myself to stay still. "I'm here because of you," he said, his voice alluring.
I didn't dare let myself hope. He couldn't have been on some mission from the Cullens... could he? After all, he was friends with Tanya and the clan in Denali. Maybe they contacted him...
"I don't get it," I admitted.
"I know someone who happens to be quite... aggravated with you, Bella. You might remember her, Victoria is her name," he said. He was close enough to touch me. "Your Edward killed her James," he sighed. My face distorted in pain when he said the name. "She thinks it's only fair to kill you."
My knees buckled, my heard stopped. I would have ended up on the ground in a heap of sobs if it weren't for Laurent. He caught me before I hit the damp, soft grass.
"Bella, calm down!" he exclaimed, hugging me to his chest. It was such an unexpected gesture. I automatically put my arms around him, longing for someone to comfort me.
"I came here as a favor to you. We wouldn't want Victoria to get you, would we?" he said.
I could barely speak. Laurent, the Laurent, was helping me. I didn't understand.
"Why?" I groaned into his shoulder. "Why would you help me?"
"You don't know Victoria like I do. She... she has no morals. I know it sounds strange coming from me, but it's sick, even for a vampire," he said, shuddering.
I took a deep breath, calming myself.
"What are we going to do?" I asked, pulling away from his cold, strong grasp. We, I had referred to the two of us as we. The thought was strange, that anyone but Jake and I would be considered we.
"We need to get you out of Forks, out of Washington, as soon as possible. It isn't safe for you to be anywhere near here."
I started to panic, my breaths coming in short gasps. I'd never be able to explain my leaving to Charlie, to Jake. I wouldn't be able to say goodbye to my Jacob, to my everything! He was the sun, the light in my life. My face twisted into a mask of discomfort at the thought.
I saw Laurent reach towards me, his finger trailed the length of my face.
"Shh," he muttered. "It's all going to work out fine."
I looked into his eyes, his dark red eyes, and felt an overwhelming sense of safety. I was drawn into him, it was a hypnotizing feeling. "I trust you," I whispered, surprising myself with the words. I knew I trusted him, for some strange reason. It just felt right.
He held out his hand. "Do you mind?" he asked.
I hesitated. He wanted to take me somewhere, I had no idea where. Yes, I did say I trusted him, but enough to have him carry me?
I grasped his hand, and with a softness that startled me, he swung me onto his back. Obviously living in Denali had changed him. He could bear my scent without going insane, he was gentle, not using his usual full strength. He was treating me like I was unbearably breakable.
"Where are we going?" I asked, making sure to do it before he started to run.
"Your house," he answered like it was the only answer.
He didn't give me a chance to answer, shooting off like a bat out of hell.
I kept my eyes open while he ran. It was different than being with him when he ran.
A thought occurred to me at that point. Why had Edwards voice not roared through my head yet. Certainly the mere sight of Laurent should trigger that in me. I was being stupid, I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. Perhaps, this whole situation, however threatening, stupid, and risky, really was the right thing to do.
I saw the trees pass by, blurring into a wall of green. I closed my eyes, soaking up the rush of running.
"Ahem," coughed Laurent. I flinched, startled by the sudden noise.
I opened my eyes, we were in front of my house. Charlie's cruiser wasn't in the driveway. He was probably still fishing.
I slipped off of Laurent like a pro, I'd done it many times before. It was then that I remembered my truck. "Oh," I said aloud.
"What?" he asked, turning to look at me. It'd take a while to get used to the color of his eyes. Hopefully he could refrain from eating people. It would be good for the population, and his eyes would go back to the color I was used to.
"My truck," I murmured.
"I'll get it," he said, his voice a soft purr. He held out his hand, I dropped my keys into his palm. "Be back in a moment," he said, voice muted. He was gone before I could blink.
I moved to the front door in a daze. I got the key from under the eve and unlocked the door, my body numb.
It wasn't until I was in the house, my own house, when it hit me.
I was about to run away, away from everything. Away from Charlie, Jacob... they were my everything. Charlie could manage, he managed for seventeen years before I got there. Yes, the initial shock would be a burden for him, but only for a little while. He'd get over it soon enough.
Jake, he was the one I worried about. The last I'd seen him, he was talking about how he was going to be persistent, how he wouldn't give up on me, broken or not. It took a lot for that kind of devotion.
He deserved better than me. I sank to the floor.
That's where Laurent found me. Without a word he scooped me up and cradled me to his chest.
"Silly, silly, Bella," he crooned. "There's nothing to worry about. We'll get Victoria, and once she's gone, you can come back here." He set me onto my feet, keeping a hold of my waist to make sure I wouldn't fall.
"You promise?" I asked, my voice barely a whisper.