Chapter 23 Title: One Wicked Little Vampire Words: 6,730 Genre(s): Mystery/Romance Rating: Rated: M Summary: AU - Bella Swan is an expert in antique documents. When the paper trail she is following leads overseas and she finds herself enamored with an enigmatic man named Edward Masen, will her training be enough to help her solve the mystery surrounding him?
She closed her eyes and sniffed at the air with greater purpose. Edward could tell the exact moment that she smelled the mob of red deer only three kilometers away. Bella’s face pinched and grew more focused as she turned her head toward the scent. He was still holding on to her shoulders tightly, but he could feel her muscles tensing, readying themselves to run. He released her and her eyes flashed open, looking toward where she’d smelled the herd and then back at Edward.
“Go,” he whispered.
She paused for only a moment before turning and darting off toward the scent. She was fast, dashing like a lithe gazelle along the foot path without making a sound. Bella tossed her head back and laughed as she increased her speed. The afternoon was already darkening with the coming storm and Bella’s hair streaked across the bleak sky like an auburn flag.
“You can go faster than that,” Edward taunted, easily pulling ahead of her. “Catch me if you can.”
With a burst of speed, Edward ran off the path and into the dense woods, weaving in and out of the branches with ease. Bella came up behind him, surprising him as she leaped into a nearby tree and swung herself ahead. Edward laughed and ran up beside her, pushing himself to the edge of his speed and only barely keeping pace with Bella. She was full of life and speed.
They were nearing the herd and instinctively Bella slowed her pace, approaching the group with stealth.
“How?” she whispered, her voice soft on the wind.
“You’ll know. Give yourself over to your senses and follow your instincts.”
She nodded, her red eyes hungry as she watched the deer. The herd sensed the vampires’ approach and the large male stepped out in front of the females, his ears twitching as he strained to hear the predator that approached. These deer weren’t used to predatory attacks. Big cats weren’t native to Thetford, so for centuries their only natural predators were vampires.
“Now,” Edward said, his voice calm though he felt far from it.
Bella sprinted into the clearing and leapt at the buck, her arms and fingers outstretched like a bird of prey might extend its talons. The rest of the herd scattered as she flew through the air, her teeth bared. A snarl broke the quiet in the clearing as she latched onto the great deer. As if on cue, a streak of lightening lit the sky, silent, still too far away to make a sound. Bella wrenched the buck’s head back and found his jugular with her razor sharp teeth, purring in contentment as the blood hit her tongue.
Edward moved to adjust himself as he stood watching her in all of her feral glory. She was terrifying and deadly, but beautiful at the same time. And he wanted her. Covered in the blood of her kill, her clothes dirty from wrestling the beast to the ground, and still growling lowly from the heat of the kill, he wanted her. As she released the drained buck, he stalked over to her.
She let the head drop to the ground with a dull thud and met him with a look of dark desire in her eyes. He covered her mouth with his, grabbing her chin in his hand roughly as he tasted the blood on her lips. Around them, the air felt charged with their desire and the coming storm. Edward growled at the taste of it and Bella echoed the sound, running her nails over his chest. Her nails ripped into the fabric of his shirt and he felt them dig into his skin, not cutting, but surely making a mark upon his body.