But you know that I could never stay.
No amount of love or the ring you put on my finger will ever change that.
Save it. Save it for another that will be dearest to your heart, someone who could love you equally, unconditionally, honestly.
For I am underserving. I have much in my life that I wish I could explain to you. Yet this back has been carrying far more that it was made to shoulder already. And I cannot possibly burden you with anymore than you deserve.
So I will go. I will not shackle you to a life of secrets and miseries. Nor will I bind you to eternal gloom and slaughter your happiness, take your sun and hide your moon.
Just know that, in another life where I was free of lies and deceit, I would move heaven and earth just to stay alongside you.
To spend a lifetime with you.
Body and soul.
He took a deep shuddering breath, trying in futile to calm the anguish that was threatening to leak out of his body.
For a moment, he thought his dead heart was ready to burst anytime. But of course his heart had long since ceased its beating, and It had only left with him an equally terrible sense of emptiness.
Why had he decided to go over this again? To rip open scars that were long buried. Old memories that he should long have concealed, lost somewhere in the ocean of his long pitiful existence. He thought he’d be over this by now, after the millionth time. But clearly some things never truly die away.
With care he produced from a small velvet pouch-
A single diamond ring.
It glittered under the moon, splaying the light of a million rainbow everywhere it touched.
Just like how her eyes had shone that day.
When he got down on one knee and proposed to her.
Her mouth agape, lips quivering, staring at him in shock and disbelief. His stomach had churned then when she had simply stood there, dumbfounded; worried that he had taken a wrong move, that she did not love him enough to want to be tied down with him. That perhaps he was still too young, too poor to offer her the life that she deserved.
But then a single tear had dropped from her eyes.
And it was followed by another, and another.
He was thrown in a panic by then, unsure of the mistake he had committed but ready to make any amend just to stop the onslaught of her tears.
Except she had then tackled him to the ground, laughing amidst her tears. Murmuring into his ears, the answer that had only mattered to him.
Yes, yes, yes.
She had kissed him so ferociously that day, stealing his breath away as if she herself would be stolen away the next moment.
A thousand times yes.
And stolen she was indeed.
Left alone in the cold morning light, sheets crumpled from the night they had shared, her scent still lingering in the air. His heart had froze, left with only an emptiness that would rage within him for the next two centuries.
She had only left with him a note and her wedding ring.
Hers. Not his; because he could not tolerate the thought of it being anything else.
And an everlasting memory that would haunt him for the rest of eternity. An aching want and need, a desire left unsaid in the dead of the night.
In those terrible formative years, when he had just been turned, night after nights he would imagine the ghost of a lip, tracing up his spine. Warm breaths at his neck; the touch of a hand, cupping his face gently, as if he were made of glass. Sweet-nothings whispered, empty promises of a life that could have been, might have been. Except none of them were real and every one of which only a figment of his imagination and memory.
Some night he would go on a killing spree, desperate to escape from memories of her that had long since turned into a never-ending nightmare, his raging storm of emotions.
A century and a half later, there were still nights like these, nights where he would meticulously finger the exquisite cravings over her engagement ring. Her name a silent mantra, a prayer from his mouth to the gods he had once worshipped and forsaken.
The pain had dampen over the years but the scars had remained. And the memories still fresh. New companionship may have eased him out of his shell of sorrow. But while he may hold another in his arms now, how could he love anyone in half? When he had long since given away half of his soul to the one who had claimed as hers on that fateful day.
But that was another story for another day.
And his pitiful being could not bear the grief all at once on any given nights; it was alright to remember in portions and halves. That way he would not lose his mind to the remembrance of her then. The one he had lost but must continue to solider on without.
“My sweet Adeline, why must you torture me so?”
On the run.
It seemed she was always on the run these days.
No permanent roof ever above her head; even the feeling of a soft pillow and a down quilt seemed foreign to her now. She was more familiar with green moss beneath her head and the stars as her canopy; clothes she snagged from stores, and meals of little preys here and there now. She was always careful not to leave a trace.
Stopping over at the riverbed to cleanse her dusty face; she mulled over her circumstances.
Family they- he, her father had called her.
And yet it was also him who made her life a living hell.
Always asking, always demanding for a hand, a chore to be done, her duties to him as her father, mentor, creator. And when she could not tolerate his iron fist of a control, she did the only thing she was good at.
Companionship. Father had told her once. No one can live for long without companionship.
She would’ve proved him wrong then. Scoffed at him. Told him that creatures like them did not deserve anything but misery, and least of all a hint of humanity. Only humans crave company; they had sinned far too much to be deserving of any.
How much blood must be spilled, to satisfy his want for his so called companionships?
But even at times, she had been tempted. A short stay in a town, a job, an education, a short fling. Mindless chatters, a warm embrace to fall asleep to at night. Anything to make herself forget just for awhile how different she was, how she could never blend in with anyone. How over the years she had lost so much, she thought she might as well have lost her heart.
Except her strange family. Whom she completely despised. Mostly.
Ah how she missed those good old days. That one summer when everything was golden and life was simple; the scorching Texan sun, the swaying wheat fields, the straw thatch cottage and its warm hearth and Hettie’s hearty soups, Ralph’s incessant chatter. And those gentle brown eyes and that mop of flaxen hair, shining like golden peat in the summer sun-
She would not let her mind wander there now.
Lock the doors and throw away the key.
She needed to stay vigilant. Her family were not the only ones she was running from. There were more dangerous and mysterious beings out there, ones she did not dare cross. Every little shift in the air, whiff of smell was a signal to her instinct. Even a falling leave could be a sign of the things to come. And right now they were telling her to head north, pass the borders, and into the Canada. There would be ample food and her family would not think to look for her there. In time, she might be able to join a small community, live a life for a little while before moving on to the next.
Keep inland, you’ll be safe. Her instinct whispered.
But she wanted to see the ocean. And the Pacific Northwest coast was a marvel. She knew of a coven near the peninsula; but surely if she stayed to herself, she should be able to cross into Vancouver without a hitch?
Her instinct only whispered on.
It was the scent she came across first.
The sweet invigorating smell of vanilla and washed linen, that of a babe’s. She froze unnaturally amidst her stroll; this was not the scent of a human, it was… it reminded her of her siblings. Of her kind.
But curiosity got the better of her.
Surely, just surely, a glimpse would not hurt. There shouldn’t be any out there like her. None of the old kinds had the knowledge of… Father had confirmed of this. Or was he mistaken?
And as she tracked the child’s scent; she came into a large clearing of blooming heathers, yet not even the overwhelming floral scent could overpower the child’s scent.
There in the gleaming sun was a child of twelve or thirteen, bronze curls flowing in the air as she twirled around in peals of laughter. Her porcelain skin illuminated; and her heart was thrumming like a little hummingbird.
‘It cannot be.’ She whispered to herself in a daze.
Gasping, the child turned towards her at once, clearly finally discovering that she was alone no more. Initially agitated, the child was quick to drop her caution when she noted how the stranger was still in a trance, staring agape at her. Nor did she miss the equally alluring scent of the intruder, her soft glowing skin and the quick humming of her heart.
Timidly, the child shuffled towards her eyeing her with curiosity. Until the two were face to face each other, apprising the other.
“Are you perhaps…” Like me? Was the unvoiced question.
“Dear God, Child.” She finally found the strength within to muster a few shaky breaths of words, disbelief evidently dominating her countenance. “How is this possible?”
With shaking hands she cupped the child’s cheeks, tenderly stroking the smoothness of her cheeks and soaking up the warmth.
“What of your maker?” She swallowed thickly. “Is he treating you well, Child?”
“Do you mean my Mum and Dad, Miss?” The child furrowed her pretty brows. “They should be just around I think. If you would like to meet them…”
That broke her out of her trance and she immediately straightened her stance. This was dangerous, she was treading on thin ice. A child like her kind would not be left unguarded, her guardians were nearby and no doubt treasured her greatly, judging from her clean attire and priciness of her garments. Any contact would be deemed a threat. She had already overstayed her welcome. And she did not want a fight. Sure she was quick and escaping and hiding had always been a forte of hers, but should she engage in battle, there was no telling if she could even gain upper hand long enough for her to run.
“I must go.” She muttered gravely to the child.
“Wait Miss!” The child chirped in a sing-song manner, unaware of the gravity of the situation. “I’m sure Mum and Dad will be delighted to meet you! And grandpa he-“
Shit. Was this the coven Father had mentioned before?
The idea of meeting an entire coven made her stomach churn. She did not quite understand how the child had come to be, nor did she understand how the Volturi would allow such a coven to exist in plain sight. And she did not intend to find out.
“Child. Child!” She hissed, surveying her surrounding in caution now. “Listen, you must take care. There are people out there who will harm you without a thought or a blink. You must be careful, don’t be so trustworthy of any strangers now.”
She looked the child dead in the eye then.
“Not even me.”
“But you didn’t hurt me! I know you wouldn’t! And aren’t we the same?” The child pleaded imploringly.
“No, not even your kind. And certainly not me.” She smoothed the child’s hair gently and tucked them behind her ear. “Trust no one. Not even your makers.”
“That’s just sad then.” The child replied solemnly.
She stood up and straightened her jacket. “Well, it's a sad and pitiful existence that we lead, Child.” She smiled bitterly then and turned to go. “One day you’ll know.”
She was just about to run when she felt a tuck at her sleeves. Turning sharply, she eyed the child in confusion.
“My name’s Renesmee, Miss. What’s yours?”
She grimaced slightly; well so much for telling the child off, she mused.
“Adeline, my name’s Adeline, Child.”
In hindsight, Adeline really should have seen the attack coming. Her instincts had been screaming at her the whole time after all.
But in a moment of distraction, she had heeded her instincts too late. She did manage to subdue the attack at her jugular with a block, but was still hurled halfway across the clearing. Twisting her body, she managed to land in a crouch; eyes trained on her attacker. He was a strong built man- vampire, tall and handsome, the usual package. And she was surprised to find his eyes golden, not that there was much time to marvel at it. His crouching stance indicated that he was ready for battle and he bared his fangs at her, guarding his child protectively
“Stay away from my daughter.” He growled.
Adeline couldn’t help but rolled her eyes. “That, I had every intention of doing.”
“Stop! Dad! Stop!” She could hear the child- Renesmee crying in the distance. But there was no time for that now.
Turning to her left, she kicked a pouncing werewolf right in the gut, slamming it into a nearby tree. Right. And then threw a punch at the female vampire that was ready to lunge at her right. Down. Blocked another blow. Shoulder. Landed a hit on shoulder of the she-vampire. Duck. Barely escaped from the wolf’s pouncing attack. Roll. And managed to withdraw herself from the fighting two.
With a final glance at the father and child; Adeline focused her mind in concealing herself before darting out of the clearing.
Promising to herself to avoid the Pacific Northwest at all cost from now on. Wary of the rest of the coven she would find there.
Not to mention the wolves.
And that was how Adeline came across the Cullens for the very first time.