Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

Mortality Race

Summary:
Humanity. Everybody wants it. Everybody would do anything for it. Now that re-transformation is possible, how far will the vampire population go in order to obtain it? And what if not everybody wants it? The race for mortality has begun.


Notes:
This story was beta'ed by TRDancer of fanfiction.net. A big thanks to her! All the chapters are written out and ready to go, so you can expect fast updates. I know -- I'm shocked too! The story has been my little project for a while now, so naturally I'd be very grateful for some feedback. It's just no fun writing something when nobody tells you how they liked it (it's very depressing too!). Please remember to always review the stories you've read -- you'll make the author's day :) The POV changes quite often so you can get a glimpse of what all the characters are thinking and feeling. Enjoy! :)


6. Snakes in Vancouver

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2181   Review this Chapter

__Chapter Six__
Snakes in Vancouver

Emmett's POV

My thumb twitched above the numbers of my cell phone.

Why couldn't they make the games any more difficult? Or at least a little faster?

I'd been playing "Snake" ever since we'd left the hotel fifteen minutes ago, and the line on the tiny screen was still no longer than it was in the beginning. The snake moved frustratingly slow—really, even humans couldn't be that dim—and turned with a one-second delay that made the game even more frustrating, though definitely more interesting. The only fun thing about it was judging the moment when I'd have to click the number 6 button in order to get the snake to turn in time.

But I was a fast learner. My timing was already absolutely perfect.

Gosh, why hadn't I taken my PSP with me when we first left home? This game required patience, which I didn't have, and slow reflexes, which I certainly didn't possess.

I would have let the snake crash into a wall if it weren't for the disgrace of giving up.

"Crap!" I cursed when Rosalie made a sudden turn and I clicked the button one millisecond too early.

"Put that thing away, will you?" my wife demanded, her voice so lovingly irritable that I just had to smile.

"Just two more minutes, hon. I have three levels to go!"

"Well turn down the sound a little," she spat. "Before I get a headache, please."

Oops. I hadn't even noticed the little "ding-dong-ding" that sounded from the tiny loudspeakers of my cell phone.

But now that I'd heard it, I had to admit the sound was a little annoying. So I clicked on options and muted all sounds.

"Thank you," Edward sighed in relief from the backseat. I glanced over my shoulder to look at him.

"You’re welcome."

He didn't respond to my grin in more than a brief frown.

"Put the whole damn thing away, Emmett! We know you can beat all the levels, okay? You don't have to prove anything," Rosalie demanded again. I grimaced.

That's when Bella stepped in on the small argument.

"Give him a break, Rosalie. It's no wonder he's bored. No offense, but you're not really interesting to talk to at the moment."

"What is there to say?" Rosalie said matter-of-factly, as if our boredom was our own fault.

I glimpsed at Bella and met her eye. I'd always loved my little sis, but lately she'd been growing more and more on me, mostly due to the many sentiments we shared about becoming human. I knew she didn't want to be all clumsy and mortal again. And neither did I.

Nobody else seemed to understand the beauty of being a vampire.

"You'll change your mind," Edward suddenly resounded from the back. "It's been a long while since any of us was human. You've forgotten how it was."

Right. I knew my memories of my past life were very narrow compared to the rest of my family, but I had spent enough time around humans to know what it was like. They tripped and hurt themselves and complained and gave up—where was the advantage in that?

"They're human, Emmett."

Wasn't that precisely my point? It was as if the word "human" alone was enough to explain the greatness of being mortal.

Edward leaned forward on his seat.

"They get married. They have children. They grow old. They die."

"Hey, vampires get married too!" I argued. Vampires were perfectly capable of family life. And as for the last two points… well, why on earth would I want to grow old and die?

Edward didn't say it, but I knew what he was thinking.

Salvation.

The question was: would becoming human again erase the sins we'd committed as vampires? Would simply the fact that we were mortal again atone for the far longer time that we'd spent as killers?

"I don't know, Emmett, I don't know," Edward murmured. His voice betrayed his sadness.

I sighed. Edward had always been worried about afterlife, and now that death was almost attainable for him, his worries seemed to have redoubled. I understood his qualms to some extent, although I had never been much of a God person. But even with the knowledge of his issues with salvation, I couldn't help thinking that Edward was being a little selfish about this all. Regarding Bella, I mean.

We'd both been dragged on this chase against our better judgment. I knew why I was here—Rosalie had always hated being a vampire, and I knew no force on earth could stop her from reaching her goal now that she knew it existed. I could either go with her or stay behind—it didn't matter. She'd go on the hunt with or without me. And as sad as that made me, I also understood.

Rosalie… well, she was Rosalie. She wanted mortality more than she wanted me. She'd always made a point out of making that fact clear to me.

But Edward didn't just want mortality—he wanted Bella, too. He'd promised her eternity.

I waited for Edward to respond to my thoughts, but when after a few seconds he still hadn't answered, I turned around to see whether he was too sad to do so. But instead of finding a miserable, guilt-wrecked Edward in the backseat, I found a marble statue that was staring out of the left window in shock.

"Edward?" Bella, oblivious to my side of the conversation, was shaking her husband's arm. "What's wrong, Edward?"

I followed my brother's gaze, wondering what could possibly have caught his immediate attention like this, and almost gasped when I saw the building on the other side of the street.

It was the motel.

Bella and Rosalie had noticed it too and were now looking at Edward, one in concern, the other in acute anticipation.

"What did you hear, Eddie?" I asked, trying to loosen the tension. Nobody paid attention.

Finally Edward leaned back, a look of utter alarm across his face. His eyes were glazed over and he instinctively put a protective arm around Bella, the motion making me automatically do the same to Rose.

"Listen," he told us.

Rosalie slowed the car down and we all pricked up our ears. It wasn't long until we heard two unfamiliar voices that unmistakably belonged to vampires:

"Someone was here before us."

"They must have disposed of the witness before he could share his information with anyone else."

"Well, it's a darn shame for us… what are we going to do now?"

That was the end of the brief conversation.

It must have been something world-alteringly shocking and new, but the problem was that I just didn't get it.

"Eddie?" I finally asked when nobody seemed inclined to explain.

Edward put his arms tightly around Bella and kissed her hair.

"The manager was murdered, Emmett," was his grim answer.

It looked like things were getting heated.

Kate's POV

"What? You're not seriously suggesting we should just wait here, are you?"

I glared at my sister, feeling my fingertips tingle. The temptation to zap her was strong—wrong, but strong. I could practically see mortality slipping past my fingers.

"Look, what else can we do, Kate?" Tanya retorted. "So we know she's in Vancouver. Or at least we know she has been. Dorothy could be miles away by now, and we don't know where to search next. Maybe the Cullens have more information."

I nearly roared out in rage.

We were so close, so close, that I could almost see my eyes brown again—the real brown, and not this horrendous ocher that marked what I'd become. We hadn't met a single nomad on the way here, which meant that we'd gotten further than anyone else so far. If we found her now, we would be the first.

And now we were supposed to wait?

"Don't be silly," I snapped back at her, ignoring Garrett's hand on my shoulder. "The only reason they're coming here at all is that we gave them the information. How should they know where to look?"

I slammed my car door shut, crossed my arms tightly, and took a step closer to Tanya. It was a cloudy day in the middle of Vancouver and not many people were out on the streets, but the few that were turned around to look at us curiously, probably wondering if we were supermodels or something like that. Or then they were scared of my obvious fury. I didn't really care.

"I say we drag our lazy behinds to every motel in this city and inquire after her!"

"Forget it, Kate! That would take days."

"We could try," Garrett offered. I flashed a short-lived smile at him.

Tanya rolled her eyes.

"No. We're waiting for the Cullens. Here. Today."

Her infallible trust in our friends was ridiculous.

I was about to throw another argument at her when I saw her eyes shift to the left to stare at something behind me. I turned around.

Three pairs of blood-red eyes were wandering up the street, the figures leaving wide berths between them and the pedestrians. In their struggle to restrain from their bloodlust they hadn't noticed us yet, and Tanya, Garrett and I ducked back into our car before they were close enough to detect us.

"Nomads," Tanya stated uselessly, as we'd all come to the conclusion already.

A growl built itself up deep in my chest. "This city's getting a little too crowded for my taste."

Tanya stared at me for a second, then glimpsed at Garrett, and finally restarted the engine. She sighed.

"All right. Where do you want to look first?"

I smiled in victory.

"Traveler's Inn just down that road. Hurry!"

Demetri's POV

"Yes, yes, Jane, I understood you the first time."

Felix and I were sitting in a small car, driving from Seattle to our destination in Vancouver. We'd arrived on a later plane than the twins and, in some strange bout of good fortune, found that we were closer to the target than Jane was from Alaska. I smiled at that conviction—Jane was too used to being the one to succeed; it was only right that Felix and I should be the ones to reach the prize first this time.

I was on the phone with her, and she was murmuring agitatedly on the other side of the line. Jane didn't like the fact that we were closer to Dorothy than she was.

"Don't do anything without checking with me first, you hear?"

"Loud and clear, Jane."

"We're not the only ones aware of the girl. It's essential that we get there first." She said this with some reluctance, clearly not wishing to urge me to hurry.

"I'm not an idiot," I answered curtly, tired of her pretending to be of higher status than me. "Felix and I will be in Vancouver in less than two hours."

"Good."

I hung up on Jane then, and shut off the mobile phone. This wasn't the first mission I was on, and I knew from experience that Jane wasn't the type to leave you to your task if she wasn't in the near vicinity to control your every move.

Felix saw my movement and chuckled, knowing my motive as well as I did. "Jane's a little incensed, isn't she?"

I just shook my head and shared my partner's smile. It felt nice to know that Jane was miles away.

I looked out of the window to watch the blur of green as we drove through another endless forest. North America was beautiful, especially Canada, but I found myself soon hoping to head more to the south where I knew the Cullens lived. For a brief moment—too brief to register inside my brain—I imagined running into Isabella on our pursuit. We hadn't been on the same continent for years, and the sudden proximity brought my fantasies back to life. I imagined her expressive eyes and full lips, so soft and gentle—very kissable, no doubt…

I had to congratulate Edward. He'd seen the beauty in her first, even when she'd been just a little, pathetic human. Bella was quite a catch.

But she was his now, and I didn't think she shared my physical attraction. Sighing, I looked down at the paper in my hands and tried to dispel all thoughts of her that might prove dangerous around Aro. The paper rattled when I unfolded it.

"Do you think she'll be of any use?" I hadn't noticed Felix staring at me. It took me a few moments to realize that he wasn't talking about Bella.

I smiled at him and nodded.

"I have a good feeling about this one."

The little white paper with the address Jane had given me seemed to beam at me from my hands, and I wondered whether the girl we were looking for would really be found there, and whether she really could make us human again. Would Bella find me more attractive once I was mortal? I had no idea, but it was worth a shot.

The address smiled up at me.

Linda Oakenford
2560 Hemlock Street
Vancouver

Oh yes, I definitely had a good feeling about this one.