Chapter 7: Hunting
When you are an immortal being, time passes quickly, faster then it would if you were just a mere human. Even if you were in a double period of boring old English with a psychopathic teacher that was obsessed with Romeo and Juliet, or even if was the time you spent observing your family as they rushed around, preparing themselves for their each individual activities. And time began to pass quickly here, with several months passing and soon enough, it was approaching January.
Carlisle finally started at the hospital, taking night shifts from five in the afternoon to midnight, before leaving early in the morning to go to Cornell University, to teach Medicine.
Esme was making frequent trips to inter-city Ithaca, where she was going to various stores to start renovation our new home. The living room was already done by two days; she painted the walls a brilliant white colour, hung light curtains, bought a Plasma TV along with new furniture.
During the night time, Rosalie and Emmett were planning for their getaway to Europe, but in the day, Rosalie and Jasper would go to the university to study while Emmett stayed home to ‘watch the house’ as Esme put it but I really knew that he was meant to be looking out for Edward and I.
Alice would either go shopping or spend the time in her room, trying to find what she could off the internet about what happened to her as a human. She wasn’t finding much, even when I offered my assistance to her, and she was rather disappointed. The only thing that would cheer her up is when I took her shopping late at night, despite my best wishes, and when Jasper came home from university. That was when I would slip off into the woods to hide away from the couples.
I didn’t like living in Ithaca. It wasn’t… it wasn’t what I expected. There a bit too much sun for my taste, and that was coming from the girl who spent a few months living in the bright and sunny southern land of Australia. Sure, I had been in Tassie, but still, sunlight was sunlight. It made the grass, flowers and trees grow, gave humans a sizzling tan, and made us vampires sparkle.
And even though we lived out of the main city, there was still too many humans hanging around. Our driveway was shorter then the one in Forks and we could hear the cars that drove way too fast past it quite clearly. A wicked bend snaked around a good kilometre ahead and it had caused many crashes before we came, many of then fatal. I feared that, since after my incident with Bella, I wouldn’t be able to resist them if there was spilt blood from a serious crash.
Usually I would keep all of these and many, many more ranting thoughts locked up tight in my head, occasionally venting it to Edward if he was listening in but lately, I hadn’t. I didn’t want to cause Edward any more pain.
So, I was now pacing on Rosalie’s room, unleashing my seething rage in verbal form to her. She was the only one who would listen to my rants. She was one hundred percent with me on the whole moving issue but was against me moving away. Rose might seem to be hostile to those who didn’t know her, but to me, she was just an insecure girl… who could be a total bitch when she wanted to be. And that was kick-ass awesome.
I was glad that Rosalie was the only one to hear me rant now. Emmett had managed to drag Edward out go hunting, Alice and Esme were shopping, and Jasper was attending the university while Carlisle was teaching there. Rosalie had been nominated for ‘babysitting Shayla’ duty by Alice. I had almost chocked on my mountain lion when I first heard of the babysitting thing. It was to ensure that I was never left alone, as a precaution. Carlisle had explained to me that, because I was younger then Jasper and still had less control then him, I was to have someone around me until I got my bloodlust back under control, which shouldn’t take any longer more then a few weeks. But still it was nice to have company, company which I could rant to.
“It’s not fair!” I ranted to her as I paced backwards and forwards across her room, my arms folded across my chest. “Why should we all have to suffer because he thinks it’s the best idea? I mean, sure, I tried to kill her… but it was only an accident, and it was to be expected! I mean, c’mon, we’re vampires, what the hell did he expect to happen!? ‘Oh, look blood. And since I’m not a vampire, I’m going to go outside and go play in the woods.’ Gah!”
Rosalie made an ‘Mmm’ noise as she turned the page of the fashion magazine she was reading. She was leaning against the headboard of the bed, with the magazine in front of her face when I snatched it from her grip. “Are you even listening to me sis?”
“Hey!” she protested as she snatched for it but I danced out of the way of her reach, before rolling the magazine up and smacking her on the head with it, crumpling it a little. “Watch it little sister,” she growled at me. “Or I’ll squash you like a bug.”
I threw back my head and laughed, despite my crabby mood. Sometimes I wondered if I had Bi-Polar disease, since I could switch moods so fast. But I knew that was impossible. “I’d like to see you try!”
She hissed and launched at me, but I spun out of her way, and smacked again with the magazine before dropping it, and racing outside. She followed me into the backyard, just near the tree line, as we engaged in a mock-fight, playful snarls and growls echoing from our throats. Her hands were curled into claws, quite different from my own, and we danced around each other, swiping and punching, our hands pulled up like a boxers in front of our faces, guarding them, despite the fact that we were deliberately trying not to hit each other.
Finally we slowed to a stop in our dance and we sat down on the grass, giggling at bit as we discussed each others techniques.
One of me and Rosalie’s hobbies was training. Though Rosalie didn’t like wrestling full-on, like I did with Jasper, Emmett and Edward, she did enjoy just little mock-fights. If she wasn’t in the mood, I could get in the mood simply by making a teasing remark at her. For example: ‘Hey Rose, scared you would break a nail?’ or ‘Don’t worry, I’ll go find someone who ISN’T a coward.’ Saying that, she would do what Rosalie did when she was pissed off at you: she would give an angry hiss and swipe at you or if she was too far away, would throw something at your head.
“The boys would be coming back soon,” she noted as we stared up at the sky. It was dark, but we could see the sun lightening in the east,
And then, as on right on cue, the wind carried Emmett and Edward’s scent across us. I stood up, and watched them come into view, from around the shore of the lake. Emmett was grinning as usual but Edward looked normal, or as normal as his did these days. His eyes were dark, despite the recent hunt, like they saw without seeing. They were empty of life, like his heart. When he had left Bella that eventful day, he had left his heart, his soul, and his life with her.
“Shayla, Rosalie,” he muttered as a greeting before he ran outside. Emmett paused between us as we watched our brother run inside.
“I don’t know what to do about him,” Emmett said sadly. “When we were hunting, it was like he wasn’t Edward anymore. He just ran, killed, drank, and then did it all over again. It was like he had lost all of the humanity he had gained. It was surreal, it was monstrous, it was, it was… it was like seeing a stranger in Edward’s place.” He sighed. “I want the old Edward back.”
“Em, we all do,” I agreed, as I reached up to pat his shoulder with difficulty. Emmett turned around and placed his huge hand on my shoulder.
“Well, now that your back, I feel like going for a hunt,” I mentioned as I went to run off. “Are you coming Rosalie? You look a bit thirsty as well.”
Rosalie turned her head from where she and Emmett were staring meaningfully at each other. Talk about being sickly sweet. “Now that you mention it, I am quite thirsty,” she admitted. “Let’s go.”
Rosalie didn’t like hunting. In fact, she hated it. She felt detached from her humanity, more then she ever would be in her immortal years, and it caused her great pain. I hated to see any of my family in pain, no matter the reason.
I on the other hand, didn’t mind hunting. I knew…. I knew we had to do it in order to survive. It felt natural and it was a great feeling, letting all those contained instincts out and letting my inner vampire out. Just as long as it was on innocent animals, I was fine with it. Survival of the fittest wasn’t it?
We took off at a steady jog, racing through the forest. Rosalie broke into a graceful run, making herself go faster then me and danced ahead of me.
I forced my legs to move faster, the ground seemed to fly out from beneath me and I shot passed her, smirking the entire time. She scowled and we raced each other, neck-and-neck, through the dark woods
Finally we crossed the scent of a small herd of deer, white-tailed deer to be precise. I groaned loudly when I though of the movie, Bambi. “Damn it, their Bambi’s!” I muttered darkly, more to myself then my sister.
She smirked a little before we found the herd. It was smaller then we first thought, with only six of them, two bucks, one older then the other, and four does. We divided them up by merely glancing at them. Rosalie would take out the younger buck and two does, while I had the older male and the rest, because my eyes were darker and I was thirstier then her.
We stuck quickly. While she attacked her first kill, the young buck, I ran in a circle, herding the frightened animals together. They stood closely together, the big buck protecting them as he snorted with anger, stomped his hooves, and tossed his head with the magnificent crown of antlers around. I almost laughed; it was nearly exactly the same as my very first hunting trip, except that time I had been with Jasper, not Rosalie.
I leapt forward and the buck made a cowardly attempt to fled, bounding away as the wind carried my scent over to it and as its instincts kicked in.
I leapt like a lion attacking a zebra, with its teeth bared, claws out and eyes glinting with hope. Except that there was no gleam of hope in my eyes. It was a spark of certainty, for I knew I would always get my prey. I crashed down on the deer, sinking my teeth into it’d neck and grasped it’s head and neck in my powerful jaws, before putting it out of its misery by breaking it’s neck in one swift motion.
I drained it quickly, leaving only a small bit wound just above its jugular, and I left it where it lay, as it was truly a magnificent animal, and perhaps a lucky human hunter would like to lay claim to it.
We chased down the remaining deer, as I anticipated the right moment to finish them off. I gave on a burst of speed as the deer threatened to disappear into the woods. But I was faster and when they passed each other at the exactly right moment, I smashed into them and broke their necks at the same time.
I drained the first easily, the smaller one, before moving onto the larger, groaning with delight as I felt the hot liquid cascade its way down my throat, creating an almost euphoric sensation. I tilted my head slightly to the left, angling my jaws better as I fed from the slighter older doe, straining to consume every last drop of blood from its veins. I was over-thirsty and needed more, and so I was suckling at the animal’s neck for far longer then what was necessary.
Rosalie’s hand on my shoulder made me jump. Even though my kill was already drained and finished, I still felt the instinct to defend my prey. I whirled round, snarling as I lurched into a crouch.
Rosalie realised her mistake and held her hands up in defence. “Calm down Shay, it’s only me.”
I straightened up and offered her a small smile. “Sorry Rosalie, you just scared me for a second there.”
She grinned at me. “My fault, I was just going to ask if you’re done. Are you?”
I shrugged. “It’ll be enough for now. C’mon, let’s run back.”
And we raced back through the woods, towards our new home.