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The (red) lion and the lamb

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I’d never given much thought to how I would die.

But dying in the place of someone I love seems like a good way to go.

 

SOMEWHERE IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON

 

Another couple of people were found dead. Their throats devoured and their bodies empty of blood, as Victoria, James, and Laurent left another small city in Washington. As they left the city to go stay in the woods for a while, the mates James and Laurent took the opportunity to enjoy themselves after the small feast, while the almost 500 hundred years old redhead used her alone time to climb a tree and watch the night sky.

It didn’t take long, a couple of days passed and suddenly the redhead vampire stopped in the middle of their walk as an intoxicating scent invaded her mind. It was nothing like Victoria had ever smelled before in her entire life. She couldn’t think straight, the scent was light to her nose but still strong enough to consume her entirely. She knew she needed more of it, she had to get closer to its source.

Victoria had her eyes closed and she felt the impossible, like her motionless heart would beat out of her chest, it was like it was on fire. It hurt, but it felt so thrilling. Want and need washing over her.

She had stopped by a nearby tree and tried to concentrate on that scent and where it was coming from. It was a primal instinct, she needed to get to it, she had to. James and Laurent saw Victoria’s change, knowing nothing of the scent that invaded her senses only. Sudden dark black eyes appeared in the vampire’s features, but she wasn’t thirsty. Victoria couldn’t quite put a name to what she was feeling. Not yet.

“Victoria? Is everything alright?” Laurent asked the redhead with caution as he wrapped his arm around James’s waist, protectively.

She gave them an almost helpless kind of look, nothing they had ever seen cross Victoria’s face. And so, as quickly as she could, Victoria started running towards the unknown source of her desires.

 

FORKS, WASHINGTON

 

Bella Swan arrived in Forks and settled in her father’s home, her new home. Not long after her arrival, Charlie surprised her with a car, a bright orange truck that she loved at first sight. The different color called to her attention and she found it a little bold - but also cute.

Along with the car, came the boy who fixed it for her father, her best friend from childhood, Jacob Black. He looked a little different but still carried that same young brother way towards her.

They talked for a while and were able to catch up around how things were going since she last visited. It was different for her, to be in Forks with her dad and away from her mom, but Bella had a feeling that maybe it was for the best. To feel that little strange rumble in her stomach meant she was doing something about her life, getting out of her comfort zone - and she liked it.

Then it was time for Bella’s first day at Forks High. She managed to make some friends before lunch, Jessica, Angela, Mike, and Eric. They seemed nice so she sat with them at the cafeteria. They were chatting, but Bella wasn't paying much attention, still trying to understand her new surroundings.

Five minutes into lunch and a new group of people entered the cafeteria immediately getting Bella’s attention.

“Who are they?”

“The Cullens.” came the quick answer from Angela to Bella’s question.

“They are Dr. and Mrs. Cullen’s foster kids. They moved down here from Alaska, like, a few years ago.” Jessica explained before they continued talking.

“They kind of keep it to themselves.”

“Yeah, ‘cause they’re all together. Like, together, together .”

Bella focused her eyes on the first two who entered the cafeteria as the two girls explained.

“The blonde girl, that’s Rosalie, and the big dark-haired guy, Emmett, they’re like a thing. I’m not even sure if that’s legal.”

“Jess, they’re not like, actually related.”

“Yeah, but they live together. It’s weird.”

Bella looked attentively at the couple, they were both so beautiful. Rosalie looked more serious and Emmett was clearly very strong but seemed to be like a goofball, taking from his big smile as they walked hand-in-hand.

The next couple entered and Bella shifted her gaze as Jessica continued talking.

“And, okay, the little dark-haired girl is Alice, she’s really weird, and she’s with Jasper, the blonde one that looks like he’s in pain.” Bella looked at the couple, the girl happily walking around like she was a child and the boy stiff as stone, with a face that really looked like he was suffering from being there. But then again who isn’t? Bella thought.

“Dr. Cullen is like this foster dad/matchmaker.”

“Maybe he’ll adopt me.” Angela joked with glowing eyes but Bella didn’t pay attention as she was focused on the last Cullen to arrive.

“Who’s he?”

Jessica sighed at her and answered.

“That’s Edward Cullen. He’s totally gorgeous, obviously, but apparently, nobody here’s good enough for him. Like I care, you know?”

Jessica laughed with frustration and Bella looked at the boy who gave a soft smile to the ground as if he knew people were talking about him as he walked in.

He sat down at the table with the rest of his family and Bella kept looking at them over her shoulder. Something about them called out to her. They were all so… attractive . And pale, very pale. They clearly needed a sunbath.

“So, yeah. Seriously, like, don’t waste your time.” Jessica said referring to the single Cullen.

Bella was a little caught by surprise from the statement and laughed awkwardly. “I wasn’t planning on it.”

Not that she didn’t find Edward beautiful, he was, and he seemed like a decent guy from afar, but the thing was that Bella wasn’t really into guys.

She didn’t immediately tell the girls, choosing to keep that fact to herself, at least for now. She had just arrived in this new town and this new school, and Bella didn’t want to be labeled by anything, especially something she could be judged by and suffer prejudice from. She also didn’t want to be the center of attention, it was enough being “the new girl” in a town with a little more than three thousand people and “the chief’s daughter”, let alone be “the lesbian” too.

After that, the day passed by quickly and soon Bella was back at home.

After dinner, Bella sat by the window in her room and watched the full moon glow in the night sky. She reflected on her day.

Things could be great in Forks.

 

… 

 

Victoria stopped running to inhale that amazing scent again. It filled every part of her body and she would never stop running until she reached its source. She felt it more now, the scent was stronger, which could only mean that she was heading in the right direction.

James and Laurent, on the other hand, were very worried about the redhead that hadn’t stopped running until now, completely fixated on her goal.

They knew very well how that sort of powerful scent wasn’t usual, it had to be coming from her mate, seeing that only Victoria could smell it, at least from that distance. They also knew that no vampire had the power to produce a scent that strong - only something alive could.

The two mates shared a knowing look and turned to Victoria who was resting against a tree, entranced by the smell that completely consumed her.

Laurent got closer and snapped Victoria out of her trance as he touched her shoulder.

“Victoria, you need to stop.” Laurent said calmly, James behind him. “We’ve been running around non-stop for two days now.”

Victoria’s eyes were black and her voice deep, like she couldn’t bear to say much or she would start running again.

“I can’t. Not until I find them.”

Laurent sighed and asked.

“You do know what you’re heading into, right? If you turn around now maybe you still have a chance to fight this.”

“We can go to Asia, or Europe, somewhere distant. Maybe Dublin. We had so much fun there.” James added.

Victoria didn’t respond and Laurent tried one more time to persuade the redhead out of this suicide mission.

“You know how human mates are extremely dangerous for us. Are you sure about this?”

Victoria looked down and closed her eyes.

“I’m not turning around.”

 

… 

 

I’m a lamb. A light brown colored lamb.

Bella is running, running from something. She’s breathless.

In the woods, she sees the dark green leaves and mud ground pass beneath her feet - or should they be called paws?

Behind her, a red lion is chasing her. It’s approaching, clearly much faster than her. And when she looks behind to see the beast, she trips and falls to the ground.

Looking up, Bella sees it, the lion. The red furry mane around its face looks like fire. The lion stops above her, big red eyes staring back. And when she feels the hot breath coming out of the lion’s lips, his mouth opens wide, showing enormous teeth before reaching down to devour her.

Bella woke up sweaty from the nightmare and didn't sleep for the rest of the night.