dark moon

a twilight fanfiction.

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10. Chapter 8: Distraction:

Time passed exceptionally slowly. The pain didn’t fade, but I had just about learnt to live with it. I had accepted the fact that I would always ache for Bella.
 
The past two months of my life had been spent running and feeding. I had largely been running to different places, spending every night looking for the stars and moon. Maybe the when I saw them again my life would have reason and the soft lunar glow would appear and signify a place where in time I might find a morsel of peace.
 
I didn’t hunt often – only when it was necessary. The burning in my throat no longer bothered me. It just felt like an annoying itch that I was able to disregard easily. It was nothing compared to the pain of losing my Bella. I only forced myself to engage in hunting in case I ever was in an environment where I might catch the scent of a human. I didn’t want to be so thirsty that my predatory senses took over automatically. It had almost happened several weeks ago.
I cringed as I evoked the memory.
I hadn’t hunted since I had left Forks, which was a considerable amount of time to go without feeding. I saw no reason to hunt. I had nothing left to maintain my life for.  As a result, I felt significantly weaker at each passing day.
I was walking a steady human pace – in no hurry to get anywhere. Suddenly I came across a mouth-watering scent. It wasn’t the most delicious scent I had ever smelt but it was still irresistible and it made my throat burn intensely – the scent could only be human.
 
My instincts overpowered me and before I knew what I was doing, I was following the source of appetizing odour with the sole purpose of quenching my deadly thirst.  The scent led me to a small remote parking lot in a national park. I saw my target packing up her vehicle. One small fragile human – so easily dealt with. I ran round the perimeter of the lot to get closer in order to initiate my attack.
I fell back into my hunting crouch. I was just about to pounce when the human turned around.
 
I froze. She was a young woman – with chocolate brown eyes that resembled Bella’s. They weren’t as beautiful as Bella’s but they were enough to make me stop for a moment; just long enough to make me realise what I was doing.
What the hell was I thinking?
I couldn’t devour her.
She was human.
I didn’t hunt humans.
I couldn’t take someone’s life that way.
This innocent woman didn’t deserve that.
And what if this woman meant to someone what Bella meant to me?
What if she was someone’s Bella?
 
The thought of some creature killing my Bella made me growl menacingly. Any circumstance that meant Bella would no longer exist would be the worst thing that could ever happen.
I couldn’t live in a world that didn’t include Bella.
I forced myself to stand straight out of my stance, and turned to sprint further into the trees screaming profanities in my head.
I was a cruel heartless monster.
 
I quickly ignored my thoughts of Bella’s demise, not wanting to dwell on such horrors.  I was positive that Alice would have foreseen my attempted attack, but there was no way for her to warn me – my cell phone battery was dead, and there was no way for me to charge it while I was living out in the wilderness.
 
Occasionally, when I was near a town that was overshadowed by clouds, I would buy myself some new clothes and check into a hotel to freshen myself up. I never turned the television on when I was there, so I had no idea what was happening in the current affairs. I tried to avoid everything and anything that would remind me of Bella, even though she was in every thought that possessed my mind.
 
I spent my days wandering from place to place – never going anywhere in particular. I strived to think of activities I could participate in, in order to occupy my mind, but I never came up with any ideas.  All the while, my empty chest urged me to go and retrieve my heart. The only thing that stopped me from sprinting back to Forks – to my Bella, was the thought of her being safe and never being hurt by my kind again.
 
At night, I lay down and gazed up into the heavens searching for the moon and stars, hoping that they would magically appear and help me to bring reason and light into my life again. They never did.
 
I had never felt isolation like this before. Over the past week, I had been contemplating returning to the relative comfort of my family for a visit. I missed my parents and my siblings. Maybe the company would raise my spirits slightly. I doubted it, but still I hoped.
 
I hadn’t had any communication with them at all. They would certainly be worried about me and I was being selfish and inconsiderate of their feelings with my lack of contact. I immediately changed my direction and headed North-East.
It took me four days to reach Ithaca, as I still spent every night gazing at the sky, waiting for my symbol of hope to materialize.
 
I decided to hunt before I went to greet my family. I located a herd of elk in a small clearing enclosed by thick trees. I allowed my predator senses to take over before I swiftly pounced on the two largest, snapping their necks instantly. I drained the first and let the creature drop from my stone cold hands. I was just about to consume the second when I heard a familiar sound.
 
It was a light gentle sound of feet running at inhuman speed, only audible to a vampire that filled my ears. My eyes instinctively scanned the surrounding forest for signs of danger. It was then I heard their thoughts.
It’s only us, Edward. Jasper spoke in his head.
I stood up straight out of my hunting crouch. A second later Alice skipped into the clearing, followed closely by my brother. She bounded over to me gracefully with a sparkling smile upon her elfin face. She was overjoyed to see me.
Although she was happy, she had a shallow look in her eyes. I could see from her thoughts that she missed her best friend acutely. Jasper remained distant – still feeling very guilty.
 
I was speechless for a minute. I was quite shocked to see them. I hadn’t been around others for awhile and it seemed I had lost my ability to speak. Alice’s smile faltered as she processed my astonished and dazed expression.
I cleared my throat and eventually found my voice.
“Well hello, Alice.”
Her smile lit up again.
“Edward!” She squealed.
She wrapped her arms around me, and I picked her and span her around. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed my favourite sister.
“I’m so glad you’re back.” She said as I set her back on her feet.
I began to protest by telling her that this was only a short visit.
“I know, I know.” She interrupted me. “You aren’t staying long.”
I gave her the best attempt at a grin that I could manage and turned to my brother.
“Hey Jazz.” He smiled at me.
“Sorry we surprised you. Carlisle told Alice to wait for you to arrive at the house, but she was so excited that you were coming, that we couldn’t stop her.”
Alice stuck her tongue out at him.
“No, it’s okay.” I replied. “It’s good to see you both.”
Alice took my hand and led me over to Jasper. She grabbed one of his hands and together we set of running in the direction of the rest of our family, leaving the un-drained elk behind.
 
My family greeted me with open arms, even Rosalie gleamed at me as she appeared at the top of the stairs when Jasper, Alice and I walked in the house.
 
We all sat in the living room for hours.
I told my family that I had been wandering around the country and they didn’t press me for further details, and I was grateful for that.
I didn’t talk much – I mainly listened as each member of my family told me what they had been doing while I had been gone.
Carlisle had been tutoring part time at Cornell University as well as working nights at a hospital.
 
Jasper was also at Cornell, but he was studying Philosophy and really enjoying it.
 
Esme had immersed herself in a new renovation project on a seventeenth century house she had located in the North of the city.
 
In a few days, Rosalie and Emmett were off on a second honeymoon to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their fifth wedding. They were going to Europe. Emmett was excited for the hunting possibilities.
 
Alice had been trying to research her human life and where she had come from. She had managed to locate the asylum where she had been held captive but hadn’t visited the place yet. She had also discovered her real name – Mary Alice Brandon. Somehow I didn’t think it suited her.  All this had been made possible from what information James had provided in a videotape he made to entice me last spring.  I winced at the memory of the ballet studio where James had almost killed my Bella – where I had also nearly taken her life myself.
I was thankful that Bella was no longer in the midst of our evil kind.
 
I found it difficult to learn that my family had all moved on with their lives whilst I was stuck in the darkness alone. I let my thoughts wander as I went to my room.
Everyone else had things to do, where as I had nothing. I spent my days wandering round like a ghost. I needed a hobby or activity to focus on.    
 
Thinking of the sadistic vampire luring Bella to that ballet studio had given me an idea. James had been a tracker. I had always found the concept of tracking truly interesting – maybe I should make it my new endeavour, to occupy my mind and prevent myself from sinking in thoughts of Bella.
 
What or who should I track? I had no idea where to begin exactly, what the process involved – I would need some sort of guidance, possibly from an experienced tracker. Perhaps Carlisle had an acquaintance who could point me in the right direction?
 
James had been a highly skilled – his hunt was his obsession. Victoria, the woman who was in his coven, was his accomplice. I had been preoccupied reading James’s mind in the baseball clearing that day, so I hadn’t taken much notice of Victoria. I didn’t see her as a danger but Victoria had aided James in his mission to take Bella from me, and for that she too deserved to die.
I realised that she was still out there somewhere and still a potential risk.
My main purpose flashed in my mind – Keep Bella safe.
I then knew what I had to do.
I was going to track Victoria.

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