This story takes place during Eclipse when Bella takes off to see Jake after she finds out that she doesn't have to work. It's from Edwards perspective.
1. Chapter 1. Hunting With My Brothers
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2375 Review this Chapter
Hunting With My Brothers
“Hey Edward, something smells pretty good to the north." Emmett said with a broad smile on his face. "I'll fight you for it."
He was trying to cheer me up.
“I just want to get this over with and get back home.” I had just caught the scent of a herd of elk to the south west and turned in their direction. It would take care of my needs and I could be on my way.
“We could have done that back at the park.” Jasper smelled where I was about to head. Having to put up with feeling my angst all day, he was not quite as pleasant as Emmett, but he was trying his best. “When was the last time you had the taste of a good mountain lion?” Would you please try to relax a little? Alice is keeping an eye on things.
Jasper didn't need to read my exact thoughts to know why I was feeling so anxious. He knew I was only truly at ease anymore when I was at her side. Victoria was still out there. Despite Alice watching, I was terrified of being away from her for any length of time. Even hunting in the park at home was stressful. I should have never allowed myself to be talked into going this far.
“It just doesn’t matter. Let me find something and get the hell out of here. You guys can stay as long as you want.”
I shut my eyes and inhaled again, trying to pinpoint where the elk were.
“We didn’t drive the whole way up here just to listen to you mope.”
“Then you shouldn’t have forced me into coming, Emmett.” I snarled back at him.
I was not in the best mood with my brothers.
Bella and I were over at the house when the subject of hunting came up. Emmett and Jasper had been bugging me to get out of town to hunt something other than the dear in the area for weeks to no avail. They decided to broach the subject with her there, hoping this was a course of action that might work. I growled under my breath as they told Bella they were itching to get away and find something tasty. An out and out roar broke from my chest as they made this trip out to be something I would regret missing. They pleaded with her, telling her I needed to get out and have some fun. They didn’t need to put that much effort into it. She all but threw me out the door as they discussed their upcoming trip, not even bothering to find out when they wanted to leave. My brothers knew she was aware of my preference for large carnivores, and the lack of them in this area. If shooting them would have had any effect, I’d gladly gone back to her house and borrowed Charlie’s revolver for a few minutes. Of course the local habitat was less than thrilling, but that was immaterial. It had been months since I had gotten any enjoyment from hunting. While I had been down south I hunted — when I forced myself — whatever animal had been unlucky enough to cross my path. But I had no complaints about staying close to home. Hunting, regardless the prey had become a burden. It kept me a way from her. And despite Bella’s best efforts to hide it with her enthusiasm for this trip, I knew what my leaving did to her.
It happened a couple days after our return from Italy. Waiting for several hours to be sure she was asleep, I slid myself out of her bed to make a quick trip into the forest, hoping that she wouldn’t awaken. I had been gone for only an hour, but it was long enough to find her screaming in her sleep as I climbed back through her window, her unconscious mind aware of my absence. Since then I only hunted when I absolutely needed to, and then only when she was with Esme or Alice. It was a small price to pay for the forgiveness she had granted me. I knew I didn’t deserve it. Every human I came in contact with when I was with her showed me the results of my actions last September. Charlie, the kids in school, even their parents when we would happen by them, painted graphic pictures of what she looked like when I had abandoned her.
Charlie’s memories were the most constant of my torments. He loathed me for what I had done to his daughter. As soon as I walked in the door he bombarded me with the consequences of my crimes. Bella catatonic on her bed, not eating the first week… Bella, pale and drawn, sitting silent at the kitchen table rocking back and forth, her arms wrapped around herself… Bella screaming every night while she slept… There was no way I could blame him for his rudeness in my presence. I would ask for no pardon. What I had done was indefensible.
Worst of all were the dog’s pictures that burned in the back of my mind. The image of her alone that night in the woods when Sam found her…
I shuddered; all thoughts of my prey were gone. We were only several hours by car away from her. If there was a problem I could run there in a third the time. Carlisle had stayed behind this trip to work. Alice, Rosalie and Esme were staying close to her for me. She would be fine; I kept trying to convince myself. Alice would watch over her for me. It should be ok. She loved her almost as much as I did. Alice would call if there was a problem.
Maybe I should call her. Yes, just to see how things were going. I could no longer rely on my sister’s visions now that I had put that mutt in Bella’s life. It was the right thing to do, responsible. Maybe I should just start for home right now. I wasn’t really thirsty anymore. I could wait. She might need me…
I heard Jasper give an exasperated sigh,
Edward, I can’t concentrate when you’re like this.
“I’m sorry Jasper; I’ve tried. I just can’t stop it.”
Emmett heard me. I groaned, waiting for it to start.
“He at it again Jasper?” They both came jogging up to my side. “Come on Edward. We’re here to have a good time, all of us.”
My only response was to glare.
“Just let it go man. Carlisle is at the hospital and the girls are nearby if there is any sign of trouble. I’m sure Alice isn’t letting Bella out of her sight… either one.” Jasper chuckled in response to him.
“I ruining this trip for both of you” I surmised. “Maybe I’ll head home early.
“No fucking way! When was the last time we were out like this? Jasper, throw a wave of Zoloft at him.”
I snarled launching myself at him. Emmett laughed as we smashed into each other. We rolled down the steep mountain side taking half a dozen trees with us before we stopped. “Now that’s more like it. I thought I was going to have to see if Rose had a dress long enough for you to wear.”
“I’m not playing.” I growled.
“You should be.” There was a time that Emmett’s jovial personality was a welcome distraction from the tedious life I used to lead. It was wrong of me to be this way. I need to get a better hold on myself. Though my irritation at them for forcing me out here remained, I felt guilty for being rude about it. Their hearts were in the right place.
I sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry I lost my temper” I got up off the ground and extended my hand out to Emmett.
“You know what you should be sorry for? I thought I might actually get a good brawl out of you. But just look at you, you can’t even get up enough spunk for a decent wrestling match” Pussy.
Emmett jumped to his feet hoping I would take the bait. “Nothing shakes a dark mood out of me better than some heterosexual male bonding.”
“Can’t say I disagree Edward.” I know how much you love her, and I know how you worry, but it’s not healthy.
“Healthy?” I looked at Jasper in disbelief.
“Ok, maybe not the best choice of words, but you get my drift.”
“I know I need to work on this guys, but tell me something. Can you honestly say you wouldn’t feel the same way if it was Rosalie or Alice?”
“Point taken.” They said in unison.
My phone vibrated in my back pocket.
I flipped it open and looked at the number, I started running toward home as I spoke, Jasper and Emmett at my heels.
“What’s wrong Alice?”
“Now I want you to remain calm.” The phone went quiet for a second. “I guess that's the best I'm going to get.”
“Alice, just tell me.”
“Ok, I was watching her go work. When she got there Mrs. Newton gave her the day off. I started to head over to her house to meet her, thinking we could get some shopping in. I saw her headed out of the store with a stack of papers in her hand then suddenly she disappeared. By the time I got there she had gone. I followed her scent... It went straight to the reservation.”
She went to see him. After what we discussed she purposefully disobeyed me and went to see him. A jealous rage washed over me. I stopped dead in my tracks; Emmett and Jasper blew past me and spun around back to my side. I would kill that dog. I’d pull his still beating heart out of him with my bare hands.
Emmett stared at my livid expression. As Jasper absorbed my murderous mood, his thoughts became defensive. I needed to explain.
“She went to the reservation.”
“She what?” Emmett’s tone was incredulous. Jasper just stood still as I was. Both of them immediately started to plan in their minds how best to come at him.
This was why I loved my brothers.
“How could this had happened, Alice? Wasn’t someone supposed to be in town while she was at work?” I roared into the phone.
Alice was contrite. “I was in town Edward. I’m so sorry. I got too far in front of my vision. That’s why I went to the house. It never occurred to me that she would take off like this… or go there. I don’t think she even planned it, or I would have known soon enough to stop her.”
“I’m on my way.” I snarled, shutting the phone before she could respond.
Trip over… “We’ll get the Jeep.”
“No,” I said. “You two stay here. I’ll take care of this myself”
This was between me and the dog. I didn’t want them involved in this. I began running again. They followed at my sides. My brothers would not let me go alone.
Emmett had a grim smile on his face. “We can leave the jeep here.”
“Emmett, I’m not dragging you two into this.”
“Yeah, you’re really twisting my arm here. Maybe we’ll just follow you home anyhow. Jasper and I have some knitting to do.”
Jasper, ever the strategist was measuring the intensity of my fury. He was concerned it would cloud my judgment and hamper my attack.
“We’re coming with you. You don’t know how many you may be up against.”
Of course this only brightened Emmett’s outlook. It didn’t matter to me. I would destroy anything in sight to get to him.
“This is between me and him. I have no intention to start anything with his pack” It was a thin lie. Neither of my brothers was buying it.
Jasper’s thoughts shifted to Alice and the others.
You won’t be able to hide your intentions from Alice .
Right this moment I was sure that I was gone from Alice's view. Would she go in blind and try to find me? I knew the answer.
“Edward, what if the girls and Carlisle get caught up in this? Esme is no fighter and Alice’s gifts are useless against them.” Jasper thoughts mirrored mine.
This got Emmett thinking about Rosalie. “You need us there, if not to keep you from trouble, to bail you out of it.”
Emmett and I are more than willing to help you, but we have to stop and think about how this could impact the others.
This time I slowed to a stop. “I’m not waiting! What if he hurts her Jasper?”
Edward, from the sounds of it, she chose to go there.
A low growl came from my chest. I bared my teeth at Jasper. Emmett stepped in between us.
“That’s not what I meant.” Jasper was trying to calm me down. “All I’m saying is that I think she should be safe. Let’s get home and see what the situation is.” Can you imagine what Bella will do if you come barreling in there and she sitting at the Black’s kitchen table playing checkers.
Jasper’s clear, rational thinking was starting to work on me. He could feel it.
“You guys take the Jeep home. I’m going on foot.” They both eyed me speculatively. “I promise to do nothing rash.”
I just don’t know Edward.
“Nothing that will put the others in trouble, I swear Jasper”
I’m holding you to that. “We’ll be home directly.” Jasper’s words had a slight twinge of threat behind them as he and Emmett turned off back toward the Jeep