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Chapter 16: Vision
When we left, we stayed far away from the house to give them privacy, but close enough so we could keep an eye on them. We rain circuits around the house in the forest, passing each other occasionally.
I took the quiet moment to think as we ran silently. What was going on with my family? Has Rosalie told them about Alice’s vision? Did they believe her? Did Edward know? What would happen if he came home and found out she was live through our minds? Would he be furious, or grateful?
These were questions I didn’t have the answers to, and I didn’t know where to find them. Edward… every decision in the past few months have revolved around him, hasn’t they? In one way, it made me livid… he was the ‘Golden Boy’ of the family, one who could do no wrong. So, you wanna leave Forks, Eddie-Boy? Sure let’s go then! Who cares about the rest of the family?
I suppressed a growl as I stopped my running and skid to a graceful stop. I immediately felt guilty for my horrid thoughts about my brother. Thank the lord for the fact that he couldn’t hear me.
I sighed and leant against a tree, as I stared up at the cloudy morning sky. My mind was wandering, going from Bella to my family, to Edward, and then back to my family, but not my ‘real’ family.
My friends had become like a second family to me. They were the main coven of Australia, because they were the most civilised and one of the biggest groups there.
Not that they always had been. Civilised, I mean. Once upon a time, they had been savage and bloodthirsty, like all non-vegetarian vampires. And, as cocky as this may sound, if I had not me them and helped them change their ways, they would still be the same. And all it had taken to change them was one little accidental meeting with them…
I ran through the dark bush, paying extra-careful attention where I was going. My feet were bare, clothes ragged and torn, and for the first time in weeks, my eyes were a, though unsteady, golden colour, one almost equal to topaz or honey, but with a small tinge of burgundy and black to them.
I didn’t hear the footfalls until it was too late. I was only focusing on getting to the capital of Tasmania, Hobart, and then, out of nowhere, I was tackled to the ground.
My first instinct was to fight and struggle to get out and away. I kicked my legs out and threw my shoulders back to send whoever had landed on me right off. The figure fell off and gave a small cry before I leapt to my feet and crouched, ready to fight if I needed to.
I locked eyes on the vampire before me. She was very beautiful, probably a rival to Rosalie in looks with her model-like physique and light chocolate-coloured hair. She was about, oh, twenty-two in physical looks, maybe? I wasn’t too sure. She wasn’t an animal-eater, shown by her red eyes, but she did hold an air of compassion around her. Which I saw in action a few moments later.
“Wait!” she cried out, holding a hand up. “I need to ask you something.”
I stopped and stood straight, still wary and slightly defensive, but in a more friendly position. “Um, ask away.”
“Your eyes…” she started. “They’re golden… how? I have fed on humans for decades and they have always stayed this colour.” She gestured to her eyes and then chuckled darkly.
I pointed to my own eyes. “These bad boys? Easy. If you promise not to try and kill me, I’ll show you. Deal?”
“Deal,” she agreed as I took off at a small jog, breathing in deeply. I made sue that she was in my sight line at all times.
“By the way,” she suddenly said from beside me. “I’m Maddy.”
“Shayla,” I replied as I smelled a collection of foreign and musky scent. A kangaroo mob was up ahead, drinking from a billabong. As I came into sight of them, Maddy quirked an eyebrow up but I ignored it. I put of a burst of speed as she slowed to watch me hunt.
The mob fled. Kangaroos were slippery little basterds, more of a challenge to hunt then deer or mountain lions. They were faster then both of them, and a lot faster then humans. But I was still faster.
One got separated, a young female. I let myself get in touch with my animal side and soon, the race was over for the roo. I leapt, jaws wide and angled for he back of her soft neck, and I almost severed it clean off with my bite.
The other vampire gawked as I managed to drain it. I then dug a wide and deep hole at superhuman speed before I picked up the corpse and tossed it into the hole to be buried.
I wandered back over to Maddy. “Animals,” she said, dumbfounded. “No humans, just animals?”
I nodded. “This was how I was taught. I could hunt humans, if I wanted to… but the truth is I don’t want to be a monster. My family and I, that’s how we co-exist and live so peacefully with one another; it’s because we’re not bloodthirsty and fighting over our food.”
I expected Maddy to scoff at this and laugh. But instead she said, “Tell me more!”
I explained the situation with my family, how I changed, how I raised to be a ‘veggie’ vampire, and about my family all together, like their gifts, their personalities, and pretty much just everything about them in general. Somewhere in this talk we ended up in a tree as we laughed and swapped stories.
Maddy eagerly told me a bout her coven, a bunch of vampires that had come together for protection from the evil nomad gangs roaming the land.
“You’re lucky I found you,” Maddy had warned, her friendly tone now one of darkness. “Anyone else probably would have killed you on the spot. But I was curious so I decided to find out.” She grinned. “And I’m glad.”
Maddy was a compassionate vampire it seemed, almost like my father, Carlisle. She was friendly and even invited me to meet her coven. I accepted.
As we ran up some rocky hills, Maddy explained that she would be willing to try our diet. “I wouldn’t mind, but I’m not sure if the rest of us would.”
There were five more in her coven, her mate, a pair who was mated, and then two more that were biologically related. None had been created by anyone in the coven but they seemed to live someone-what peacefully with one another, despite the constant bickering and fights they had.
When the hill became steep, I saw our destination. A cave with a ledge jutting out of the hill, so it was almost impossible to get in, and with firelight flickering from it. I got on all fours and managed to clamber up the hill easily. Maddy showed me how to jump up, by rebounding off some rocks, and I copied her.
I should have been suspicious like my instincts were saying, but her kind and willing nature to change tore that from my mind. She was genuinely friendly; anyone could see that.
She walked ahead of me into the deep cave which went into the hill a little bit, and around a tight corner. “I’m back!” she called.
Five vampires were lazing around a fire on logs and rocks. They all had dark red eyes.
One in particular caught my eye. A tall male with dark hair, almost like dark chocolate that, when Maddy stood beside him, complemented her milk chocolate coloured hair perfectly. It gave him an air of sweetness, friendliness, quite like Maddy’s, but the look on his face wasn’t. He was dangerous, tense, wary… protective. I think Maddy must have been his mate judging by his tense stature.
The rest stood nearby, not exactly glaring at me, but yet still giving me a look that told me I wasn’t exactly welcome. There were four more of them, two that looked like twins with their identical blonde hair, straight, angular features, and young, youth like stature. They were young physically, probably only just into their teenage years. They weren’t mates, but probably related.
The other pair was mated together, shown by their joined hands. The girl had raven-black hair which fell to just beneath her shoulders, while the male had curly, blond hair, very similar to Jasper’s. It seemed to have other colours running through it, was it possible for vampires to dye their hair? I should find out…
But now wasn’t the time. Maddy suddenly began to speak quickly. She explained who I was, my diet, and how I could help her family-like coven. And then she turned to me.
“Shayla, I’d like you to meet these people I would dearly call family. This is Theo and Tiff…” The guy with the dyed hair winked at me as he wrapped an arm around his black-haired mate’s shoulders.
“G’day,” he greeted, with a strong Australian accent is his voice. “I’m Theo and this is my girl Tiff.” He gave her a squeeze.
“I’m Shayla,” I replied, trying to let some of my natural and almost-forgotten accent to seep in. “But my friends call me Shay.”
This seemed to amuse Theo and he chuckled at my voice and grinned widely. Despite his ruby eyes, I could see myself getting along with him.
“That’s Corey, and Jessie, the twins,” Maddy then said, as the very similar vampires came forward. But only just an inch or two.
They didn’t seem comfortable with me being there. Their eyes were wary and they seemed fidgety, as they kept twitching their limbs, and they seemed to be set on flight or fight.
“And finally, this is Matthew,” Maddy finished as she led the final vampire forward to greet me. With the hard look in his eyes, his set jaw, and his almost frozen body in a dominate position, I could tell that he was the, or one of, the main leaders in the coven.
“So,” he started, glaring down at me while he spoke. “Your name is Shayla… where you from and what’s your purpose in our territory?”
“Matthew!” Maddy hissed as she punched him in the arm. She was acting like an overprotective older sister. I rolled my eyes. I already had two; I didn’t need another one, for I had three annoying and rather obnoxious older brothers as well.
“Yeah, that’s my name, what’s it to ya?” I snarled. I wanted to see how far I could push him, for he struck me as the overprotective alpha that had a rather short fuse. I just needed to light that fuse.
He growled loudly, a low and rumbling sound in his chest. “I don’t like your attitude shortie.”
“And I don’t like your face,” I retorted smugly. “But you don’t hear me complaining about.”
I heard two of the vampires behind Matt snigger loudly. “Ooo, you got burned by the new girl, Matty!” I glanced to see Tiff laughing along with her mate as Theo snorted at my comeback. He then gushed excitedly, “That was a good one Shay! I hadn’t heard a decent comeback like that since I was human.” He stepped forward towards me and held out a fist. “Bump it.” We smashed our fists together and I grinned. Theo seemed like an all-out decent and awesome guy. I liked him.
“Humph.” Matt seemed unimpressed as he turned away and stalked off towards the back of the cave. Maddy shot me an apologetic look before she followed while the other vampires settled around the fire. I stood there, uncomfortable in this rather awkward situation where I had been invited to another coven’s ‘home’ but the person that had invited me had left. It was like a party you went to and you knew no one at all and had spent it drinking vodka alone behind the back shed.
However, unlike that certain party, that troublesome problem was soon eliminated.
“Join us Shay,” Jessie invited in a soft voice, as she patted the rocky earth beside her, “We won’t bite…”
“Much!” Corey laughed, finishing his twin’s sentence. I frowned, slightly confused until someone, if I think, and whispered that he was kidding.
We sat there for a while, talking quietly to one another. I found out that they had not always been people-eaters. They were once vegetarians but after Corey and Jessie joined, who were not vegetarians, they drifted back into old habits and hadn’t attempted to break them.
Suddenly my day-dream was cut off by Alice flying past me. “Alice!” I yelled. “What the hell is going on?” She ignored me and ran back to Bella’s house, before she darted back in through Charlie’s window. I sighed and followed and just as I came to the top of the stairs, I saw Alice at the foot of them, her eyes wide and shocked as she chocked out Bella’s name. Jacob was there too, frozen in place as he stood there.
“Alice, what’s wrong?” Bella cried as I darted down the stairs, just as Bella placed her hands on Alice’s drawn whiter-then bone-bone face to try and calm her down, as she trembled uncontrollably.
“Edward,” Alice whispered.