Carlisle made the difficult decision to change 13 year-old Sunny into a vampire before her cancer could kill her. This is Sunny's first year as a Cullen and a vampire.
3. Chapter 3: First Hunt
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I could hear the others panicking behind me but I was too lost in the scent to notice or stop. I had to find the source of that scent. The trees whizzed by in a blur as I ran but I never got tired. The scent was getting stronger the further I ran. I could hear Jasper, Carlisle, and Emmett as they were getting closer but I still kept going. The scent was so strong now that my mouth began to water.
I came to an abrupt stop when the source of the smell finally came into view. A hunter had his gun trained on a cougar about a hundred feet away from where I stood.
I heard Jasper stop about six feet away from me; Carlisle and Emmett were about four feet behind him. I knew Jasper could feel my tension as I took in the scene in front of me but I didn’t pay any attention to any of them.
I took one step closer to the hunter and could feel Jasper step with me. There was no way he was giving me any space to strike without his approval. The closer I got to the hunter, the more intense the sour smell became. Interesting…
I took a few slow, measured steps towards the cougar and my mouth started to water again. I was about to pounce when Jasper pounced first, landing on me with such precision that he managed to completely avoid touching my skin. I tried to fight him off, kicking and wiggling but he was sitting on my back with my arms in his grasp. I wasn’t going anywhere. I could hear the sounds of the hunter and the cougar as they both took off running. “Jasper, get off!” I shrieked, trying to fight him again. There was no give to his grip.
“Not until you calm down, Clara.” A sense of calm radiated off him onto me but his tone was tense. When Emmett was standing next to us, Jasper finally eased up and let me go. As soon as I was on my feet Emmett scooped me up into his arms and stomped towards the house again. His grip was just as hard to escape as Jasper’s had been.
“Jeez, Clara! You nearly gave us all a heart attack back there! What were you thinking, running off like that?” His stern voice was back again. “And you have no idea how to hunt yet, either. You don’t ever hunt around humans like that! When the thirst hits, humans could get hurt!”
I scowled up at him, my arms wrapped tight across my chest. “Humans smell like sour milk. What the heck am I going to eat one of them for?”
Everyone suddenly came to a dead stop. They were all staring at me like I had just admitted to giving birth to an alien baby or something. “What?”
Carlisle recovered first. “He didn’t smell appealing to you at all?” I shook my head adamantly.
Carlisle grinned at me proudly and pried me away from Emmett. “Fascinating.” He looked astounded for a moment before he frowned at me thoughtfully, seeming to really look at me for the first time. “Your eyes are black, Clara.”
I didn’t know how to take that. “Is that bad?”
All three of them laughed at my question. “No, Sunny. That’s not bad at all. It’s just that most vampires are born with red eyes and are drawn to human blood the way you were drawn to that cougar. It’s unusual that you should have the opposite reaction.”
“Oh,” I muttered. Ok, so as a human I wasn’t like other kids because I was sick. Now, as a vampire, I’m not like other vampires because humans smell like garbage to me. Fabulous.
Carlisle misunderstood my reaction. “I know I didn’t explain that very well. I’m sorry if it sounded as if I meant that there is something wrong with you.” His gentle tone became firm. “There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. In fact, I’m very proud of you. Normally, it takes a great amount of focus and control to be able to do what you just did. Humans smell so desirable to us that it can take decades to learn enough control to be able to interact with them. That will never be a problem for you apparently.” As he said this, his proud grin returned. I would have been blushing if I could.
All of this talk about blood preferences was making the burning, dry ache in the throat unbearable. I turned to glare at Emmett and Jasper. “That’s all really interesting but I’m still thirsty. Can I hunt now?”
Jasper and Emmett exchanged a worried glance before Jasper came to stand by my side. His expression was solemn. “Alright, but you stay right with us and do exactly as you’re told.” I nodded impatiently, willing to agree to whatever it would take to make this insufferable ache go away.
We began to walk soundlessly through the forest, my ears taking in every sound around me with perfect clarity. I could hear birds fluttering their wings as they took off from the trees. I could hear the sound of the river near the house as clearly as if I were standing right next to it, the roar of the water rushing through it was soothing, a distraction from the pain of the ache in my throat.
Now, I could hear footsteps and the sound of a wet, strong heartbeat. The ache blazed as the smell hit me again. Emmett placed a restraining hand on my shoulder as my body stiffened. “I’ll carry you again if I have to.”
I glared up at him. “No, you won’t! I can take care of myself. I told you, I’d listen to you, just hurry it up already. The thirst is killing me!”
He laughed, finally becoming himself as the smell became a distraction for me again. Maybe having him carry me wasn’t such a bad idea. I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to resist pouncing once the source of the smell came into view.
I was grateful when Carlisle took my hand as we all started forward again. I knew he could easily pull me back if I lost control for a second time.
We went no further than another hundred feet before a buck edged out into our path. I felt Carlisle’s arm stiffen when the animal came into view. I could feel his eyes on me, warily watching my every move, waiting to see if I would lose control again. I fidgeted nervously as the urge to strike became almost overwhelming. I was barely aware of Carlisle’s voice above me. “Pay attention to Jasper, Clara. Watch how your brother does it.”
I groaned faintly as I tore my eyes away from the prey, forcing myself to give my attention to Jasper. He waited until he was sure he had my full attention before he spoke so softly that I was sure the animal was still oblivious to our presence. “You don’t want the animal to suffer, remember. You want to strike as swiftly and precisely as possible. Listen.”
I had no idea what I was supposed to be listening for until I heard it. I could almost see it, the vein pulsing hot, sweet blood through the buck’s neck. I could practically see the flow coursing through that vein; even through its skin. I was barely aware that my body had moved at all until Carlisle’s grip became firm. “Clara.” The sudden firmness in his voice brought my attention back to what I was supposed to be doing. I peeked up at him meekly before turning back to Jasper.
“That vein is your target, Clara. You must aim for that.” Without warning, he lunged so gracefully that I gasped. The animal clearly was caught off guard and gave no struggle as Jasper fed from its neck. Within a few minutes, the lifeless corpse dropped from Jasper’s arms and fell to the ground. There wasn’t a drop of blood spilled, no sign whatsoever that he had just fed from a two hundred pound animal, completely draining it.
I edged forward, eager to have my turn but there was nothing in the immediate vicinity to feed from. Carlisle’s grip loosened a bit as he too realized that there was no cause for concern anymore. Carlisle and Emmett kept close to my side as I wandered, looking for my own prey.
About a mile from where Jasper had fed from the buck, I finally heard another strong, wet heartbeat. This one was beating faster than the buck’s had. I could clearly hear whatever it was as it ran swiftly towards us, seeming to be completely unaware that it was running straight towards its own death. The coyote came panting into view a few seconds later, stopping as its instincts finally kicked in. It sensed us now. It knew that other predators were nearby.
“Slowly, Clara. Take your time and focus,” Jasper breathed at me. My eyes easily honed in on the exact spot on the coyote’s neck where I wanted to strike. At just the thought of striking, my body shot forward, knocking the coyote to the ground before it had a chance to realize that I was on top of it.
The moment when my sharp teeth sank into the coyote’s flesh and its hot, sweet blood poured into my mouth, everything seems to move in slow motion. There was nothing but me, the animal in my arms and the flow of its blood as it slid down my throat. Too soon, the flow of blood turned to a trickle and the coyote was drained dry. I let it fall from my hands, just as Jasper had with the buck, and stood.
Everyone was staring. I wiped my mouth and looked around me frantically for a moment, wondering what I had done wrong. I had gotten some blood around my mouth but didn’t ruin my clothes. Had I taken too much blood, drained the animal too completely? “What?” I finally asked.
When Emmett finally spoke, he sounded shocked. “Wow. That was…. Wow.”
“Impressive,” Jasper commented with a smile of approval. I finally let myself relax.
The ache in my throat had eased a bit but it was still there. I was about to ask if we could keep hunting when I heard a car pull into the driveway at the house. Without thinking, I zoomed past my family and raced back in the direction of home.
When the house came into view, I saw a glimpse of a shiny silver Volvo before it disappeared into the garage. I made it under the door before it had even started to descend. “Edward!” I pounced. He caught me easily with a smirk, one eyebrow cocked at me in amusement.
“Hello, Sunny.” His expression suddenly changed as he caught the scent off my clothes. “You weren’t just wandering the woods by yourself, were you?” He frowned. I could smell the pine scent lingering in my hair.
“She was supposed to be with us.” Emmett commented as he easily lifted the garage door. Carlisle, Jasper, and Emmett all were wearing identical frowns as they wandered into the garage and over to where Edward stood, holding me. He held me a bit tighter. Oh great.
Edward’s jaw tightened. “So running off without anyone with you has become a habit for you, has it?” Obviously, he had caught a glimpse of my earlier escape through someone’s thoughts. Jasper looked a bit smug.
“Yeah… well… it was the scent…and it was so strong…. and I didn’t even know I was doing it…I just jumped.” My voice, barely a meek whisper at the beginning of my speech, had trailed off completely by the end.
A low growl rumbled in Edward’s throat as he made his way into the house, still holding me in his arms. I didn’t make a sound as he stomped up the stairs and down the hall, into my bedroom. His glare fixed on the broken window for a moment before he turned that glare to me. “You’re fixing it before Esme sees.”
My mouth fell open and, for a moment, I forgot whom I was talking to. “I don’t know how to fix it! How the hell am I gonna do that?”
“Clara. Elizabeth. Cullen.” I realized my mistake a moment too late. “I don’t ever want you taking that tone with anyone again. Am I understood?” His light brown eyes were blazing.
“Yes, Edward.” I managed weakly.
Edward sighed in frustration. Without another word, and before I realized what he was doing, he was at my bedside, yanking down the sheets. He gently placed me down, tucking me into the enormous bed. “It would be to your benefit if you stayed right here for the remainder of the night.” His tone was still angry; disappointment had mixed in as well.
I just gaped at him for a moment, too stunned to speak. The remainder of the night, but it was only seven thirty! I could feel a slight pressure in my head when Edward cocked one eyebrow at my thought, his expression daring me to say it out loud. His jaw twitched and I fidgeted under his gaze.
I laid back before I could get myself into any more trouble, yawning as my head hit the pillow. Edward suddenly looked concerned. “Carlisle.” He called softly.
I knew Carlisle could hear him and he was at my bedside before I could blink. “What’s the matter, Edward?” I could see concern filling Carlisle’s features as he took in Edward’s expression.
“She yawned,” was all Edward said before Carlisle disappeared. He reappeared moments later with his black doctor bag in his hand.
I groaned automatically at seeing that damn bag. The pressure returned to my head as Edward growled at me again. I flinched, pouting at the sheets. “Sorry,” I muttered.
I heard Carlisle’s bag open and felt the stethoscope as he brought it to my chest. I looked up. Edward had sat down at the end of the bed, his eyes watching my every move.
I don’t know why Carlisle was bothering to listen to my heart. It wasn’t beating. He obviously came to the same conclusion as he dropped it back into his bag. He frowned at me curiously and reached out to feel my forehead. His hand wasn’t cold against my skin as it was the last time he had done this. The frown remained on his face as this too brought him no answers.
I yawned a second time, my eyes starting to droop as my father and my brother stared in shock and concern. Before my eyes closed, I saw Carlisle settle himself at the end of the bed next to Edward. I knew that neither one of them would move again that night.
- Shannon R
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