My wife slumped against me. I couldn’t hear her and I panicked. I couldn’t draw on her power to do anything. Thankfully, Marcos was destroyed. Alice and Jasper were dealing with a shrieking Victoria. “Bella, baby, please wake up,” I murmured, stroking her cold cheeks.
“You need to get her to feed, Edward,” Alice said. “Ten miles south, mountain lions. You’ll need to kill it for her and force it down her throat.”
I nodded and scooped her up. I darted away, holding my reason for living against my chest. She was dead weight, not moving or breathing. She looked dead. She felt dead. I couldn’t lose her.
I smelled the mountain lions. I gently placed Bella onto the ground, brushing her hair away from her face. “I’ll be back love, with something for you to regain you strength.” With a sigh, I lithely attacked one of the mountain lions, injuring it to draw blood from its body. I carried the squirming cat toward my wife and held it down. Bella’s nose twitched. “Smell it, baby. It’ll make you better.”
She moaned and opened her blackened eyes. “So tired, Edward,” she whispered.
“I know, baby. Drink,” I said as I offered the lion to her. Wearily, she latched onto its neck and pulled deeply from the mountain lion. Immediately, her skin pinked up and she was able to sit up on her own.
“I need more, Edward,” she whispered, still incredibly weak. I nodded and quickly buried the now dead lion. I found two more cats, draining for myself. I had become drained during the battle and needed to replenish. I repeated the injuring action with the second cat for Bella. She was standing shakily, leaning against a large sequoia tree. Once she saw the mountain lion, she hissed and lunged for the animal. With ferocity, she drained him quickly. Tossing the carcass onto the ground, Bella dashed off in search of her own food. I followed close behind. She managed to drink from some moose and a handful of deer before slumping onto a nearby log. “What was that?” she whimpered. “I’ve never felt so exhausted…”
“I don’t know, Bella,” I said. Her mind was still silent to me. I couldn’t hear her but I desperately needed to. I sat down next to her, caressing her cheeks. “Apparently, that was a taste of what’s going to happen with the Volturi.”