Chapter Twenty One- First Hunt

Chapter Number: 21

Chapter Name:
First Hunt

Page Numbers: 407 – 427

Date of Chapter: September 13, 2006

Summary:  This chapter begins with Bella being surprised that Edward wants her to jump out the second floor window instead of going downstairs where Jacob or Renesmee.  Bella understands that she is a “monster” now and that she needs to avoid scents that will trigger her “wild side.”  Bella is worried about leaving Renesme with Jacob since she feels he doesn’t like her.  Edward reassures Bella by saying, “Trust me, she is perfectly safe.  I know exactly what Jacob is thinking.”

Edward jumps from the window first and she is surprised at how easy it appears, so she follows.  Edward is stunned by how graceful Bella is, even for a vampire, and even wearing the silly stilettos Alice gave her.  She then, much to the chagrin of Alice, removes her stilettos and throws them back into the library for safe keeping.

Bella and Edward run to the river hand in hand.  Edward informs her that they will jump across the river to which Bella tells him to go first.  Edward takes two quick strides backwards and then runs and leaps effortlessly across the river, does a somersault and lands obscured by the trees on the other side.

Before she jumps, Bella worries about harming the forest.  As she psyches herself up, she takes the first stride and rips her dress.  Knowing that Alice treats clothes as if they are disposable, she rips the dress on both sides to allow her more movement.  She can hear in the distance the sound of Jacob’s throaty chuckle which causes Bella to worry about whether Jacob will forgive her for what she has become.  Before her emotions spill out of control, she taps it all down, she needs to hunt before she can deal with anything else. Edward calls to Bella, worried that she needs to watch him again.  However, Bella doesn’t want to give Emmet any additional ammo for laughing at her so she takes a deep breath and runs for the river.  Bella deftly flies over the river, erring on the side of too much power, landing in the trees well beyond where Edward landed.  She laughs, having so enjoyed it, and asks Edward if they can do it again.  He reminds Bella that they are on a hunting trip and to focus.

Edward takes off and tells Bella to follow if she can.  She finds that Edward is faster than her; however, she is stronger at the moment with all her newborn strength so she is able to keep up with him.  Bella reveals in the feel of the wind, the sounds and smells, all her heightened senses bring her.  In this moment of running, she finally understands why her worries over Edward hitting a tree were ridiculous.  Bella is surprised when he hears Edward calling her name and that he has stopped running.  He asks her if she wanted to continue to Canada or just hunt in the United States.  Bella finds that she needs to concentrate on the words Edwards speaks because she is so easily distracted by his appearance; by the way his lips move as he talks to her.

Edward and Bella discuss that for her first hunt they will go after elk since it would be easier.  She doesn’t mind as she can feel the demand of the thirst.  Edward tells her to be still and close her eyes and then listen to find the elk.   He then asks her what she hears.  At first Bella feels that she hears everything, but then she discovers that she can narrow in on particular sounds.  She hears the elk lapping at the water to the northeast.  Edward then asks to wait for the breeze and tell him what she smells.  Bella can smell Edward’s honey-lilac-and-sun scent, but then casts out to smell the elk’s unappealing scent.  Edward sees Bella wrinkle her nose and assures her that it will take some getting used to.  She guesses there are three, but Edward tells her there are three by the creek and two beyond in the trees.  Bella is unsure what to do but Edward reassures her that her instincts will guide her.

Bella concentrates on the scent of a male elk , but as she prepares to attack, the wind shifts and the scent of something far more appealing from the south hits her.  Without thinking, Bella hurtles out of the trees after this sweet smelling prey, scaring the elk from the creek.  She feels herself become single-mindedly compelled to use that sweet scent to quench her scorching thirst.  Bella realizes as she hunts that she is being followed.  She growls and bears her teeth in warning to the pursuer.  The need to defend begins to outweigh her thirst so she turns to confront the follower, snarling at his approach.

Bella is startled by the snarling sound that comes from her.  It distracts her from the thirst-driven haze, even though she is still thirsty, her head has cleared.  The wind shifts taking with it the temptation of the sweet sent, bringing back the scent of earth and coming rain.  This sudden clarity gives Bella the realization that she had just been hunting a human.  Edward stops a few feet away, holding his arms out to either embrace or restrain her.  The intent and cautious look he gives Bella freezes her.  She realizes she was about to attack Edward.  With a quick jerk, she comes out of her defensive crouch and holds her breath, fearing the scent would come back and unglue her.  Edward sees the reason in her face and relaxes, coming closer to Bella.  However, Bella tells Edward that she needs to get away.  Edward asks if she thinks she can leave.  She doesn’t give him an answer, but runs away to the north, away from the human and the temptation

As Bella runs away, she realizes Edward is following her.  To her sane mind now, she doesn’t resent his presence.  She fights the instinct to breathe so she can assure herself the opportunity to get away.  Suddenly Bella stops and watches as Edward ran past her only to come back.  He stops in front of Bella, placing his hands on her shoulders and demands to know how she was able to disengage from the hunt of a human as a newborn.  Bella responds that she had to since she could have killed someone she knows.  Edward’s laughing response is not well received by Bella.  He tells her that she shouldn’t be so rational right now.  That her ability to stop hunting and then abandon the hunt is unheard of, it is as if she is “decades rather than days old.”

Then Bella admits to Edward that she is amazed that she still feels for Edward as she did when she was human.  She thought it would be a long time before she wanted him.   Edward continues to be surprised, wondering if she is even thirsty.  Bella is annoyed that the minute Edward brings up her thirsty; it comes roaring back, distracting her from her rapture of Edward.  She focuses and finds a mountain lion.  Bella attacks the mountain lion, causing her dress to be ripped and tattered, but she wins the battle and quenches her thirst.  When she finishes the lion, she wipes her face and realizes how green she is at hunting.  Edward assures her that she did just fine.  However, he found the difficult within himself; it was such a change to watch her wrestle with a lion than protect her.

They continue hunting deer, and Bella realizes that she was glad she never saw Edward hunt while she was human.  She would have truly have seen him as a vampire, yet, she feels she wouldn’t have missed the beauty that is Edward.  Bella compliments Edward on his ability to hunt and stay so clean and unmarred and assures him that she is through hunting.

Now that the hunting is completed, and feeling in control, Bella wants to see Renesemee   As Edward touches her hand, she is completely distracted and dazzled by him.  Bella ends up tackling Edward and apologizes for knocking him down while completely absorbed by him.  Edward laughs and asks tentatively, “Renesemee?”  Which gives Bella pause: to delay the return trip slightly to spend a little time with Edward or see her baby girl?  But Bella fears that her human memories are fading which urges her decision to return immediately and see Renesmee.

Characters Involved: Bella Cullen, Edward Cullen, Alice Cullen

Characters Mentioned:
Renesmee Cullen, Jacob Black, Emmett Cullen, Rosalie Hale, Jasper Hale, Carlisle Cullen, Esme Cullen

Places Visited: Carlisle’s library in the Cullen residence and the forest around the Cullen Residence and miles beyond.

Memorable Quotes:
“Is Renesmee … okay…with Jacob there?  He doesn’t like her much.” ~ Bella to Edward – page 408.

“That was quite graceful – even for a vampire.”  Edward to Bella – page 409.

“Her fashion sense hasn’t improved as much as her balance.” ~ Alice to the family – page 409.

“Focus Bella – we’re on a hunting trip.” ~ Edward to Bella – page 412.

“Did you want to stay in the country?  Or were you planning to continue on to Canada this afternoon?” ~  Edward to Bella – page 414.

“Bella, you’re behaving like you’re decades rather than days old.” ~  Edward to Bella – page 420.

“I thought I wouldn’t feel this way for a long time?…But I still want you.”  ~ Bella to Edward – page 421.

“It goes against the grain,… letting you wrestle with lions.  I was having anxiety attack the whole time.”  ~ Edward to Bella – page 423.

Important Information learned:
Bella can easily learn how to use her super-human abilities by watching and analyzing Edward.

Hunting is a natural instinct and newborns are easily distracted.

Bella isn’t like the typical newborn, she has far more control over the thirst.

Chapter Prepared By
: Una