Hunter is cocky, cynical, and careless. His two weaknessess are lack of trust and writing. When his mother encourages him to do something other than writing, he drives to a nearby state park for some peace and quiet. However, when darkness closes in around him, Hunter finds himself lost. Frustrated and tired, he decides to look for it in the morning when the sun is up. In the dead of night, Hunter wakes up to unfamiliar voices. One is a beautiful voice of a woman and the other is the voice of a hateful man who wants nothing to do with Hunter. The man and woman turn him into something he thought never was possible. Hunter is then forced to endure a new life, a new set of values, a new family, and a new diet. He then comes in contact with the werewolves of La Push and meets Jacob. After he eventually comes to terms with himself, a massive responsibility is forced on his shoulders that changes him…hopefully, for the better. Most characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. IRIS!!! Beautiful banner, I owe you a high five and maybe a surprise... ;)
Disclaimer: pretty much, all of these heart-melting characters belong to that Stephenie Meyer chick. Except for some choice additions... P.S. Is there any way I can bribe you guys to review more?
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I walked numbly side by side between Joseph and Anna…sulking. It was something that I had become extremely good at. Anna would offer to go for a walk and Joseph would joke and joke and joke until I lashed out angrily.
All the while…sulk, sulk, sulk.
Normally, I wasn’t so bitter. It’s not in my nature to be defensive, moody, and all around fierce. However, there was nothing about being a vampire that was normal. All five of my senses heightened dramatically. Suddenly, sights and sounds and scents were overwhelmingly powerful. Joseph and Anna didn’t have nearly as powerful senses as I did, which amazed Joseph to no end. Anna was so proud of me, which she would state repeatedly. Joseph was secretly just as proud, if not more, but wouldn’t say anything. He knew better than Anna that I loathed what I had become.
But the way they smelled.
It was difficult for me to grasp, at first, the concept of us and them. Until, that is, the distinctions became more and more clear. My first realization was due to a new sense. Almost, at the risk of sounding cliché, a six sense. There was a predator inside of me waiting so faithfully to surface.
Which it did. Anna made it a point to feed twice a week. Joseph had protested, saying that I would easily become spoiled. I whole-heartedly agreed with him. Feeding was such a dismissive word for the ridiculous slaughter that Joseph and Anna so happily performed. The first few times I was involved, I couldn’t feed myself. Joseph simply made a small cut, letting the victim bleed a little, and then I lost all control.
It was then that I came to the full understanding of the word pounce.
“Stop sulking,” Joseph snapped. We had been hiking for days at a very slow pace. Anna adored the scenery of Washington and wanted to maintain the perfect image of it in her memory.
“Oh, sweet Hunter, are you still upset?” Anna cooed as she danced daintily over fallen branches and large rocks.
I growled in response.
Joseph huffed an angry breath. “You better pull out of this eternal gloom before-”
“Eternal gloom?!” I protested. Joseph had fallen into a habit of making up nonsense that he considered poetic and using it to make fun of me. Simply because that’s the way he considered writers to speak.
“Smell the sea!” Anna exclaimed as we approached a cliff.
Joseph rolled his eyes but guided her to the edge of the cliff where the waves of the sea lapped gently against the side fifty or so feet below. I wanted so badly to see inside of her head to understand how her thoughts came to these conclusions. However, it was a ludicrous thing to wish because seeing others thoughts was impossible.
“Do you smell it, Hunter?” Anna asked breathlessly, leaning over the edge carelessly.
“It reeks of salt and dead fish,” I snarled as I continued on down the path.
Anna sniffled to herself and continued walking as well, followed by Joseph. We trudged on in silence, Joseph and I, as Anna sang and pranced around us. She commented profusely on the birds and the greenery and everything that her eyes fell on. Personally, I thought that this entire area had a peculiar smell that made my nostrils itch. I didn’t mention this, though, because I knew Joseph was tired of my constant saying that everything stunk. Even though I knew this smell was far more serious than the others, I allotted to let Anna and Joseph find out on their own.
“Ohhhh…” Anna awed as we walked around on the beach. She had found a tidal pool and stooped down to gaze at a single starfish.
Joseph sighed. I could see how having Anna as a constant companion could grow old so quickly.
“What is it, Anna?” he asked, more out of politeness than any real interest.
“The same thing it always is,” I found myself saying sarcastically. “Oh, a bird! Oh, a fish! Oh, a blade of grass!” I shouted in a shrill voice, mocking Anna.
This wasn’t received well by either Joseph or Anna. Joseph’s hand gave me a firm smack upside my head and Anna glared peevishly from under her mass of wavy brown hair.
“At least I have an appreciation of life,” she snapped, turning her attention again to the small starfish.
“And I didn’t? In case you don’t remember, it wasn’t my choice to become a vampire,” I exclaimed, ignoring the odd smell growing closer.
“He does have a point,” Joseph acknowledged.
Anna scowled at first but then tilted her head in the direction of the odd scent that had been growing more and more intolerable for me. “Do you smell something funny?” she asked innocently. Joseph’s head immediately snapped in my direction.
“Is. There. Something. You’re. Forgetting?” The wicked snarl hissed from between his teeth. I managed to place an innocent, blank stare on my face and blinked twice.
“What?” I pleaded.
Anna rushed to my side and embraced me. “Don’t be angry with him, Joseph! He doesn’t know any better! After all-”
“He’s only three months old.” Joseph dismissed Anna and I with a wave of his hand. Within three months, I had found Anna’s one weakness.
Joseph knew I knew. He was, in fact, ashamed that Anna let me get away with such manipulation. Then again, there was a part of him that hoped I would break her motherly-heart into pieces. As Anna smothered me with love and affection, we all noticed the odd, itching smell growing more powerful. Joseph stood still, in a statuesque way, and strained for any clue to whom the smell belonged. Giving up, he turned to me.
“Hunter,” he asked carefully, “is there anything you want to tell us about La Push?” Joseph held my gaze with his deep red eyes. Anna continued to cuddle me and comb through my hair. I often would think to myself as she did this that, when she was alive, she must not have had any luck with teddy bears. As I looked back at Joseph, though, I couldn’t think of a reasonable explanation for him.
Joseph nodded. “You’re not completely incompetent, Hunter. You’ve lived in Washington your whole life. Have there been any stories at all of strange things in this area?”
I thought out loud as I traced them. “Well,” I began, “a few years ago, there were huge bear…or wolf…or dog sightings. Something stupid like that. I didn’t believe it at all.”
Joseph nodded again in his scholarly manner. “That…makes no sense.”
I shrugged, still trapped inside Anna’s embraced. The burning, itching reek would soon be upon us. I tried to identify the scent. It was powerful and familiar and a mix of things.
Muddy…dense…like someone had rolled around on the forest floor…sweaty, almost…definitely something to do with the ocean… I tried to think of the different parts of the smell.
“It smells like wet dog,” Anna breathed quietly, looking up as several figures came into view. Her innocent remark, simple and brief, had managed to pinpoint the exact source of the smell. The figures that approached us with lolling tongues and large, black eyes were horse-like in stature and very canine in shape. It wasn’t until they were only a few yards away that Joseph yanked on my arm and took hold of Anna’s hand. The inevitable danger now more obvious, we fled. I had never known I could run with such fluid movement. However, it dawned on me that I had never needed to. I wondered, briefly, how fast I could run if I was truly pressed for speed.
Now was the best time to find out.
Passing blurs of brown and green, predominantly green, I ran passed Joseph and Anna. The itching stink of filthy wolves clinging desperately to my senses. I forced my legs to go faster, as if I could out run the smell itself. I could feel Joseph and Anna beside me begin to lag. It wasn’t until I had passed them completely that I heard a sickly scream. My head flickered around for a brief second to see what had happened. Anna had been overtaken by the monsters and the look on Joseph’s face…
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