"Daddy, Daddy!" Her voice was so angelic, like wind chimes.
"I want to hunt with you."
"But you just hunted 4 hours ago," I reminded her.
"I know, but I want to go hunting with you."
"Alright," I muttered, with no intention of actually letting her within a five foot radius of a mountain lion. She jumped into my arms, as lightly as a feather. She was so beautiful. My Daughter. Half of me. My own blood. Well not exactly my blood, but she was a part of me.
A part of Bella, when she was human. Ahh. Bad Memories. Bella as a human was not a bad memory on its own. It was the borderline... when Bella was making the transition into the world of the never-aging. I had not wanted to change her. I had to change her.
Or she would have... died. The thought was like a dark cloud buried away in the nooks and crannies of my infinite memory. I shouldn't be thinking of that, I reminded myself abruptly. I'll focus on hunting. Not a second had passed and Renesmee and I were still running through the never-ending forest. I suddenly caught the scent of something other than an animal. I abruptly stopped, breathing in the strange aroma. It was a familiar scent, but nothing that I had smelled recently. I didn't know what to do. I turned around, inhaling sharply, and ran back to the house. Within 10 seconds, I was in front of the house with Nessie still in my arms. Bella and my Nessie were staring at me with this confused look on their faces. Renesmee reached up and touched her hand to my stone face. I waited patiently. She showed me a picture of what she saw in the forest right before I had stopped and came back. A blurred figure. Pale, white skin, red eyes gleaming. Impossible! How could this be? I thought that I had killed him a long time ago.
Every memory of this sadistic vampire revolved around Bella... a weak, human Bella writhing in pain in a ballet studio, a vulnerable Bella standing in my shadow during a baseball game... Though I couldn't get James out of my mind, somewhere, deep inside the inner workings of my mind, I knew that this wasn't James. The hair of the vampire in Nessie's memory was raven black, and he was not as thin as James had been. At first, I felt relief. James had not miraculously returned from the dead. Secondly, my body filled with dread. There was another vampire around, placing my Nessie in a very dangerous situation.
Suddenly, Alice appeared out of no where. Her topaz eyes were wide with horror as she pulled Nessie out of my reluctant arms.
"What's wrong, Alice?" Bella hissed, her beautiful face menacing. When Alice did not give Bella an answer, my wife turned to me. "Damn it, Edward! Tell me what's going on!" I hesitated. Alice was making an extremely powerful attempt to hide her latest vision from me; she was translating the first 6,000 numbers of Pi into Roman Numerals. I turned to Bella, an apologetic look on my face. There was nothing to tell.
"There's a vampire in the forest, Bella," I explained, "That's all that I know. If Alice would just let me into her mind..." I cast Alice a sinister look, tired of her games. Just last night Alice had recited Pride and Prejudice into Portuguese in an attempt to keep Bella's anniversary present a secret. Silly Bella; she loved to keep human holidays alive.
Bella froze, her beautiful face resembling a Hellenistic ice sculpture.
"You're not serious," she whispered, though she knew that I wasn't much of a comic. I glanced at Alice, desperate for reassurance.
"Bells, I couldn't read his mind," I pointed out, "And Alice won't let me see. I saw him through Nessie, and we're not positive it means anything. He's probably just curious." Bella did not seem reassured. Her eyes were glued to Nessie, as were Alice's.
"His eyes?" Bella hissed, her voice barely there. I hesitated, unsure if this was information that she needed or not. But then I remembered a promise that I had made two years ago. I couldn't lie to her, not even the 'sparing her crap'.
"Red." The small word meant so much. A small hiss escaped her tightened jaw.
"Bella, Calm down. I can see him not coming back." Alice reassured her. "He was just curious."
"Love, he's not coming back," I said, trying to hide the fact that Alice had just lied to her, and that I had to go along with it. Edward, I am sorry I lied to her, Alice thought. She looked at me with an apologetic smile.
"Edward, we need to talk," Bella said hesitantly.
"Ok," I muttered tentatively. We ran towards the forest, the opposite side of where Nessie had seen the other vampire.
"Edward..." Bella began unsurely, "Why? Where did he come from?"
"I don't know Bella," I stated. "But i just think he was curious. He didn’t even stop long enough for me to see him."
"Are you sure?"
I hesitated, unsure of what to say. Should I tell her straight out? Yes, that would be the best thing for her.
"No, I’m not sure. We'll just have to rely on Alice for the time being." We ran back to the house. Renesmee reached out for Bella as soon as we came into sight.
"Mama!" She jumped into Bella’s arms, and placed her palm upon Bella's soft cheek. Bella's eyes went blank in a way that only Alice's could as Nessie relayed to her what she had seen.
"He looks like..." Bella stammered, and I cut her off.
"I know," I agreed, "He looks just like James. I think it's just the mannerisms throwing us off. That feral quality..." Bella nodded absently, her face full of fear. The expression made me want to reach out and hold her, and I did just that.
"Don't worry, Love," I cooed into her ear, eyeing Alice darkly. My obnoxious sister cast me a helpless look. "We'll fix everything. There are eight of us, and one of... one of him." Bella considered this, still unsure. I caressed the back of her neck, though Nessie made it quite difficult.
"Emmett, Jasper and I will go out looking for him if we ever hear of him," I muttered, unwilling to let Bella fear the unknown.
After ten minutes of vigilant persuasion, Bella seemed satisfied enough to go inside. As calmly as we could, we informed our family of our concern. I shied away from the idea of danger. There had not been danger in our home for less than half of a decade, and I was not willing to change that.
As we conversed in the comfort of our own home, twilight fell once more.