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Eric Yorkie, The Van Helsing of Forks

Summary:
Vampires have come to Forks, and only one person can possibly stop them. That would be me. I am Eric Yorkie, the Van Helsing of Forks. The True Adventures of a Vampire Hunter. A Twilight AU JokesonJane made this awesome banner


Notes:
I don't own Twilight.


11. Chapter 11 Where We Make A Run For It

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2423   Review this Chapter

Vampires have astounding strength, speed, and many other abilities. However, the one thing they universally fear is fire. – From The Diary of a Vampire Hunter by Eric Yorkie

(*)(*)(*)

The smell of smoke gets stronger and stronger. I can hear the wind making the treetops rustle, and in the background there's a dull roar. It's a continuous, drawn out groan carried on the wind like the moaning of an impossibly hungry beast. We're traveling in the dark, but in a break in the trees, I can see the waning moon through a blanket of brown-red haze.

We come to a fork in the path; left takes you to the Hoh River, right to Deer Ridge. Carlisle stops, and the rest of us come to a halt behind him. He squats on the ground, examining it like an Indian tracker. The leaves crinkle under his feet, and I realize it's been weeks since we've seen a substantial rainfall.

From Emmett's back, I speak up. This is such a crazy and weird mode of transportation, and I'm trying to fight the feelings of being a little kid carried like we were playing Chicken Fight. "Deer Ridge is to the right."

"I didn't realize the fire was so close," Emmett says. At least he's nonchalant about the whole experience. "I know they've been fighting it up by the Calawah, but I wonder if they know how far west it's gotten."

Carlisle looks up. "He's headed toward the park."

Alice comes up from behind and puts a hand on me. She's as cold as Emmett. Of course, because they're dead, a small voice inside me exclaims. Mentally, I beat the voice back with a stick. I'll deal with you later.

Alice smiles apologetically. "Excuse me−it gets clearer if I can touch someone he's linked to." She puts her head down, concentrating, her hand resting lightly on my arm. I am desperately hoping the trust that they all have in her abilities is not misplaced. "We have to go now," Alice says.

"Lead," Carlisle says, stepping aside so that Alice is in front. We run further along the path. Every now and then, Alice pauses, her head down and focusing. I feel like the Timmy to her Lassie. Find him, girl, find him.

With each step, it becomes clearer we're headed into a forest fire. The wind is getting stronger, and the crackling of the fire intensifies. I can hear snapping and popping as if someone is stomping on piles of dry twigs. It's starting to get warmer, but underneath me, Emmett is the same slightly chilled temperature. We climb a steep slope, and behind me in the east, there's an orange glow. On the next ridge I can see patches of fire on the ground, and as I watch, fire races up the side of a scrub pine, and the top of it bursts into flame like it's a giant match head. The nearby trees sway in the wind as the air rushes in to feed the flames.

"Jesus…" I say under my breath. This is definitely not for the faint of heart.

We're at the crest of a ridge, and in the dim moonlight, there are visible patches of rock where the bare bones of this hill poke their way through the bushes and grasses. Occasional trees litter the area, along with various boulders. It reminds me of my room when I haven't cleaned it up in a while-that kind of random chaos. I don't know these formations; this is an area I've never explored.

"He's around here," Alice says. "Try calling for him."

I slide off Emmett's back. This time he keeps a hand on my arm so I don't fall on my ass as my sneakers hit the ground. "Danny!" I call, taking in a breath if the acrid air. "Danny!" I lean over my knees, coughing; the smell of smoke is getting thick and gagging.

"Again," Rosalie orders. The others stand still as statues, listening to the night.

I look around the hill we're on. The rocks are silent and unforgiving, while the bushes rustle in the breeze. The fire sounds are getting closer. "Danny! It's me, Eric! Danny, where are you?"

Rosalie starts running over the crest of the hill, and the rest of us follow her. On this side of the hill we can see the fire in the dell below, crawling its way up the hillside toward us like an angry animal. Rosalie ducks behind a large bush to an outcropping of stone. I push my way through Emmett and Dr. Cullen to where Rosalie crouches besides several boulders against a rock ledge. There is an opening as tall as my knee.

I catch Rosalie's eyes as I crouch at the mouth of a small cave. She nods slightly. The opening is small and dark. "Danny?" I yell into the dark. "Are you in there?"

"Eric?" his voice asks meekly. My eyes adjust to the night, and I can just barely make out a pale face several yards in. It's not so much a cave as it is more like a tunnel.

"Oh, Danny!" Relief washes through me. I want to hug him; I want to yell at him for making me worry, I want to kiss him and sniff him all over like a mother dog will with a puppy that's wandered away from the den. "Are you okay? Come on out."

"I-I can't," he says.

"It's okay," I say. "I have some friends here. We need you to come out."

"My foot's stuck."

"What's it stuck on?" Dr. Cullen asks.

"I don't know," Danny says. "I found the cave, Eric," he adds proudly.

"You certainly did, pal."

Dr. Cullen and I exchange glances. The tunnel is so small that Danny must have had to back in. His foot must have gotten caught on something in the back of the cave. It's too dark for me to tell.

"Let me by. Maybe I can see what he's caught on," Alice says. She gets down and does a belly crawl into the hole until she's a few feet in. I can barely hear her voice, muffled as it is in the small space. "Hey, Danny. I'm Alice. I go to school with your brother."

He replies but I can't make out what he says.

"I'm sure you did," Alice says. "But we really ought to get you out of here. Can you smell the smoke? There's a fire nearby."

She laughs; she actually laughs. "No, we didn't bring any marshmallows. You just sit tight, and we'll get you out of here in just a minute." She slides backwards out of the tunnel and sits up. "It looks like there are some tree roots in the back he's gotten entangled in."

"Maybe if I tunnel in through the side?" Emmett asks.

"We'd have to be careful the rock doesn't collapse in on him," Dr. Cullen says.

Rosalie looks around the boulder by the entrance. "Go in low."

Emmett rolls the boulder away so he has a clear path to the side of the rock outcropping of which this tunnel is part. With his bare hands, he digs his fingers into the solid rock, which squeals and groans under his hands like a living animal. It pops with loud cracks as it comes away in his hands, crumbling like cake. My jaw drops in astonishment. That's got to be granite.

"Eric?" Danny's voice sounds scared. "What's that sound?"

I belly crawl into the tunnel so I can reach out and touch him. "We're digging our way in to free you. It's going to be okay."

"It was dark, and I was alone," he complains. "I'm glad you're here."

I pull our heads close. "Me, too, buddy. Me, too."

In mere seconds, the back of the tunnel gives way, and I can see Emmett's hands. "Try it now," he yells.

"Eric, grab Danny! I'll pull you both," Dr. Cullen orders.

I wrap my arms around Danny, holding onto his upper arms. "Grab my arms with your hands," I tell him.

I feel hands on my ankles, and I'm yanked backward, my belly scraping the ground, pulling Danny with me out of the tunnel.

I can't believe how quickly the fire has approached in the time I was in the tunnel. It has raced up the hill and is now just yards away. It's getting hot enough to break into a sweat and the air feels heated. Dr. Cullen has a stretch of shiny material-it almost looks like aluminum foil-and he wraps Danny quickly in it before pulling Danny to his chest. Emmett slings me onto his back, and we're off running.

"Head for the Sol Duc!" Alice yells. With Rosalie leading, we race down the hill and take a jag to the right, crashing through underbrush. I duck my head behind Emmett's neck, but the branches rip at us. The fire is around us on three sides; the landscape is truly hellish. It seems everywhere we look, the orange flames are eating away at the grass and the trees. I can see the fire racing across the forest floor, devouring bushes and racing up tree trunks.

"Look out!" Alice yells, and Emmett springs into the air with me holding tightly. There is a huge crash behind us, and when I look back, a burning tree has fallen across the path where we just were. Alice appears, leaping over it, soaring in an impossibly high arc into the air to avoid the flames. Gazelles would be envious of her grace.

We keep running and are soon outpacing the fire. We plow through more underbrush and come to a stream bank. The water level is low, indicative of the last couple of weeks of dry weather.

Dr. Cullen slips a phone out of his pocket and hands it to Alice. "Have Esme and Jasper meet us by the 107." He peeks into the blanket he's wrapped Danny up in. "How are you doing, Danny?"

"Are we going home now?" he asks.

Dr. Cullen smiles. "We're on our way. Soon, very soon." Danny wrapped up in that shiny silver blanket looks like a giant hot dog to go. I hope I am the only one to whom that particular thought occurs.

We follow the stream banks, occasionally splashing through the water when we finally make it back to a paved road. Emmett sets me on my feet as we wait for Mrs. Cullen and Jasper to show in the car. Dr. Cullen sets Danny gently on the ground, sitting up. I run over to him and drop to my knees to hug him.

"I'm so glad you're okay," I say, trying to hold back the tears of relief which threaten to choke me.

His smile is wide and trusting. "I knew you'd find me."

"We almost didn't." I grab him by the shoulders. "Don't you ever wander off like that on your own again, you hear me?" I say sternly.

His eyes get big, and his bottom lip starts to tremble. I pull him close.

"You scared me when you didn't come home," I whisper. "I don't ever want to be scared like that again."

"I'm sorry I scared you," he whimpers back, and the two of us just sit hugging for a while. Somebody throws a jacket over my shoulders, and Dr. Cullen inspects us both. Danny's ankle is swollen; he must have twisted it somehow trying to get free, and I have some burn blisters on my back that I don't remember getting. They may have been caused by stray sparks.

"Somebody should call my parents," I say.

"Already done," says Rosalie. "They'll meet you at the hospital."

"The hospital?" I ask.

Dr. Cullen smiles. "We should get you both thoroughly checked out."

Finally a car's high beams come around the corner, and the Mercedes pulls up. I can see now by the light of the headlights that the five of us look like we've been through a fire. Our faces are smudged with soot, and our clothing is ripped from being snagged by bushes. Somehow, it only makes Rosalie look sweeter, more vulnerable. She puts a hand on my arm as I climb into the back seat. "Good job, Eric," she says sweetly, smiling.

I pause, rendered speechless by her, by my gratitude to all of them, but then I have to move as Emmett brings Danny and places him next to me on the car seat. Jasper gets out as Dr. Cullen gets in. "Aren't the rest coming?" I ask as Mrs. Cullen turns the car to head back to Forks.

"They'll make it home on their own," Dr. Cullen says.

Behind us, the four of them wave goodbye, and I raise my hand as they fade from sight.

The sky is lightening as we head along the highway. Dawn is finally making an appearance. Next to me, I can see Danny's eyes growing heavy. It's been a long night.

I barely register what happens at the hospital. Dr. Cullen does most of the explaining, saying how I'd remembered about Deer Ridge, and we went looking immediately for Danny. Luckily we found him and brought him out.

The deputy asks me how I met up with the Cullens in the middle of the night. From across the emergency room, Dr. Cullen's golden eyes watch me as I tell the officer I couldn't sleep and had a hunch the Cullens might be able to help so I rode my bike over their house to ask.

Wrapped up in the blanket as he was, Danny didn't really see anything out of the ordinary. Once again, it seems it's only me that knows the truth of the matter.

They treat my back, x-ray Danny's ankle and put Danny and me in adjacent hospital beds. My family is let in, and when my mother falls into my arms, weeping, I start crying too. Even tough guys like me can lose it when their mom shows up.

My family prods me a bit about what happened, but I'm so tired I can't really make any sense. There are decisions to be made and consequences to be faced, but for now, all I want to do is be next to my brother. I ask the nurses to push our beds closer together so I can touch him as he's sleeping. I fall asleep on my side, watching over Danny in the next bed.