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Chapter 11: Broken promises
The deer fled nosily as I darted after them, ready to catch one as my prey. They were a small herd, with about ten of the slim creatures, and all but three of them were mothers with fawns. I did not count the fawns as part of the herd. I would let them live, to continue the population and to not let the amount of deer get too low. I never hunted anything that had young with it. I would be taking their mother away, just like mine had been taken away, not due to my kind but to sickness, one which I had never found out what it was. Everyone, animal, human or vampire, deserved to have a mother. Who was I to take away that right? I refused to play God.
As I easily caught up to the biggest doe, I leapt, flipped and landed on it, feet-first, with my toe-claws digging into its skin, before I gripped it’s neck with my hands and pulled. It let out a shriek of pain as its pelvis shattered underneath my weight and as its neck snapped. I jumped off before it fell and landed crouched beside it. I drained it quickly, neatly cutting its jugular in two, temporally soothing the ever-present burn in my throat, before I picked up the body and carried it over to some bushes, to hide it. I deliberately left a few drops of blood on the bushes, to attract animal predators that would, hopefully, eat the flesh and avoid arousing suspicion to any human hunters that may pass by.
I hunted the remaining deer, taking the two without fawns and let the rest flee away from me. I sighed sadly and walked to the river to wash my hands and face.
And that’s when I saw them. I heard their footfalls at first and when I jerked my head up, I saw the solid form of Emmett, and the beautiful body of Rosalie, jogging towards me.
“Rosalie, Emmett,” I breathed as they both came closer to me. Emmett’s usually joyful face was serious for once, and Rosalie’s had a pained expression. When she came closer, she threw herself at me. Emmett smiled a little and let out a low chuckle.
“Hey! Ow, what the hell?! Rosalie…” I complained as she hugged me tight to her tall form.
“Don’t you ever, ever do that to us again!” she snarled, thumping me on the head with the palm of her hand, despite the fact that she was hugging me. I winched, and held up my arm in defence. “How could you Shayla! I ought to…”
“You ought to shut your trap,” I snapped back as I stepped out of the way of her blows. “I don’t want to hear it. I came back for Esme and Carlisle, and Alice and Jazz, not to be revved by you for my choice!”
Emmett stepped between us before Rosalie could respond to my harsh words. “C’mon Shay, just come home with us. Please,” he pleaded. “We all miss you heaps.” He offered me his hand and I stared at it.
But I knew I couldn’t stay out here forever – I had to go back sometime. Was I wanted back though? I had, after all, run off away from my family for the second time in two years. One was a year, the other, a few days. I went to take it but hesitated.
Emmett, tired of my uncertainty, grabbed me and forced me onto his back in a piggyback position. I protested but he clamped my arms around his neck and took off, Rosalie by his side. I clung to him tighter then a backpack.
Emmett ran as fast as he could with me on his back, which was his normal seed as his super-strength helped a fair bit, and we reached home in hardly any times at all. I looked up at the old house, smiling slightly as I hopped down off my brother’s back. I stood on my tippee-toes to kiss him on the cheek before whispering in his ear, “Thanks.” He grinned in response.
I walked inside to the back room, just as Esme and Carlisle, followed by Jasper and Alice, came downstairs.
“Mom!” I cried as I ran towards her and embraced her in a huge hug. She hugged me back and laughed softly as I refused to let her go. “I’m so, so, so sorry Mom! I never should have left, I should have stayed, I –”
“Shh Shayla,” she whispered to me. “It’s all okay. You have nothing to apologise for. You did what you thought what was right. That’s nothing to be sorry for. I forgive you.”
I let go and stood back away from her. “At least one of you does,” I mumbled.
Carlisle moved towards me and placed a hand on my shoulder. “I forgive you Shayla,” he informed me. “We all do.”
Alice didn’t look unhappy with me. She looked positively thrilled as she flitted down the stairs and embraced me in a hug before kissing my cheek. “I wasn’t really mad at you,” she explained to my confusion. “Just sick to death with worry!” She laughed and we all laughed with her.
We all moved into the living room where they all sat down on the chairs, Carlisle standing with his hands on Esme’s shoulders as she sat in an armchair, Jasper in another armchair with Jasper, and Rosalie and Emmett spread across the couch. I stood in front of them.
“Are you going to tell us where you have been Shay?” Emmett asked me from his sprawled out position on the couch with Rosalie’s head in his lap.
I paused, wondering. They didn’t know where I had been, and I was sure that they wouldn’t take too kindly to the thought. I suspected Alice had a good idea, but I was sure that she had only that. Once I made the decision to speak, she would see what I would say and figure the rest out.
No point hiding it then. “Well…” I started, glancing nervously between my family. “I went back to Forks a few days ago as some of you may, or may not know.” I ignored Rosalie’s furious gaze at me as I turned my head away so I couldn’t see her. “And I went to check up on Bella.”
I ignored all their looks of surprise and Rosalie’s one of fury. I took a deep breath before I continued on.
“She was asleep when I checked up on her and…” I paused and gulped, remembering what I had seen that night. “And, I swear to god, I have never seen anything, or anyone like her.”
“She was fine at first but then she began to sleep talk. Something about Edward not going, and with her wanting him to stay. She began to scream then, horrifying, terror-filled screams. I have never felt more helpless in my life. I managed to get out of there when she pulled herself awake, looking like she just had a nightmare.”
They were all staring at me when I continued on.
“She looked absolutely horrible too. Skinny, pale… she looked like she was eating, but not quite enough. Though it’s like she took a piece of Edward’s soul, it is actually Edward who took a portion of hers. In my thirty-eight years, I have never seen anything more heartbreaking then this…” I finished my story and waited for their reaction.
Carlisle spoke first. “It almost sounds like she’s suffering from some kind of depression.”
Alice let out a whimper. “I have to go back; I have to go help her!” She leapt off Jasper’s lap and ran to the door.
I caught her on the arm before she could escape. “Alice you can’t,” I told her. “What I did was wrong and I shouldn’t have done it. What’s going to happen when Edward finds out? He’s going to rip me apart, put me back together, rip me apart again and then burn the pieces!”
“Let go of me Shayla!” Alice snarled at me, her usually petite face screwed up into a gruesome grimace as she struggled to escape my iron hold on her arm.
Jasper stepped in then. He took the struggling Alice from my grip and she surrendered to his embrace. He soothed her as she began to sob into his shirt.
“It’s not fair,” she cried. “Why does she have to suffer so much?”
Rosalie rose from the couch and stalked out of the room, glaring mercilessly at me. I bared my teeth at her, a warning and a threat in one expression. Don’t you dare blame me Rosalie Hale!
Emmett glanced between the sobbing Alice, now being comforted by Esme with Jasper hovering protectively over them both, and his retreating wife’s form. He meekly mouthed a “Sorry!” before he ran after her. I heard the backdoor being slammed open before it fell with a crash off its hinges. Though Emmett was much more likely to do such a thing, I suspected that the very greatly irritated Rosalie had.
I sighed. “Rosalie’s not very happy with me, is she?”
Jasper looked up at my words. He hesitated before answering. “She… she wasn’t happy that you went back to Forks. ‘Why can she go back, while we have to stay away from her!?’” He imitated Rosalie’s irritated tone perfectly with his voice. “She was angry that while we all promised to stay away from Forks, that you could go off whenever you pleased!”
“Hang on!” I interrupted. “I never promised anything! You all did without me, while I was gone, and the only thing I could do was agree! I never got a say in any of it! It was completely unfair!”
Carlisle looked unhappy. “Shayla, you had a choice. Everyone has a choice, you could have —”
“Stayed in Forks, all by myself?!” I snapped back, finishing his sentence. “Yeah right, like your precious Edward…” – I sneered my brother’s name – “Would’ve let me! I hate this! And I hate living here! It doesn’t even feel like we’re a family anymore, it feels like a bloody coven! And I want it fixed!”
“Shayla…” Carlisle then warned, knowing that a temper tantrum from me was probably coming. I ignored him and went to continue my rant but then, my anger faded out to be replaced by calmness.
“I’ve said this before, and I’ll say again,” I whisper furiously, though without anger, to Jasper. “Damn your gift!”
He grinned briefly for a second before I gave a low growl at him. Alice, having recovered from her upset over Bella’s news, turned to glare at me. “Don’t Shayla; you know he’s only trying to help.”
I wanted to argue back but all the emotions, all the mixed feelings that I had been holding in since my return overwhelmed me, I sunk to my knees and held my face in my hands.
Esme was beside me, kneeling down as she wrapped her arms around me. I sobbed in her embrace.
“It’s, j-j-just n-n-not fair!” I sobbed. “I d-d-didn’t want t-t-is to happen! I’m s-s-so sorry!” I cried out dry sobs as Esme took me in her arms, picked me up and carried me to the couch. I heard Jasper and Alice leave the room, as Carlisle sat on the side of Esme where she held me in her lap, rubbing circles on my back as I chocked out embarrassing dry sobs.
“Shh, Shayla, shh…” Esme whispered, her mothering instincts kicking in. “Its okay, its okay. We are all here for you.”
Carlisle offered his soothing words of comfort as well. “It’s all going to be okay my child. It will work out one way or another. It will, it will. Trust me.”
“I’m sorry Dad,” I mumbled as I threw my arms around him and tugged him to me, while Esme still hugged me. He let me, and wrapped his arms around me. “I didn’t mean what I said, I’m so sorry. A thousand apologies couldn’t make up for what I have said.”
He patted my shoulder while in the hug. “No need to apologise Shayla. Listen, why don’t you go out for a run? Clear your head… get some fresh air. It’ll do you some good.”
“Okay,” I agreed as I hopped off Esme’s lap “I think I will.” I kissed both of my parents on their foreheads before I waved goodbye to them, and I then dashed outside.
“Love you both!” I called out to them, earning a low chuckle from them both, before I sprinted into the forest to have a long, undisturbed and peaceful run.