Chapter Two—Stranger Danger

Author's Note: Thank God for public libraries, and especially good ol' Wikipedia; otherwise I might've actually had to buy a copy of the book in order for Eddie to reach his full potential! And why is it that on Wikipedia there's a "list of characters" article, while Edward and Bella and Jacob apparently all deserve their own individual articles? I do not support this! Hell, why am I complaining? I don't think the damn thing should exist in the first place.

And whoever wrote said articles is almost as illiterate as Meyer herself, believe you me.

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. (or Into the Wild, for that matter) If I did own Twilight, I would probably drive to the bridge, lash an engine block to my ankles, and become one with the Mighty Mississippi, as a kind of public service. Paramount owns Into the Wild, and God bless 'em.

There was something not quite right about the girl that had just walked in.

Eddie Red Moon Black sat in a lonely corner of the roadhouse's bar, nursing a fifth of Johnny Walker. When the girl walked in, he could feel that something was not quite right about her before he even turned to look; she exuded a very subtle evil that only particularly adept human beings could detect. But what's more, she smelled evil, as if she spent all her waking hours in the company of something that shouldn't exist.

Eddie's first thought when he turned around to look was that she was beautiful. Looks a bit like that Tracy girl from that Sean Penn picture I saw a while back, he thought. Long brown hair, heart-shaped face, pale skin. At first, Eddie began to feel the familiar twitching of pubis that signals the onset of true love (hope springs eternal in the male gonad), but it was quickly chilled when the wind changed direction through the open door and the stink of evil became unmistakable: She was an associate. She wasn't one of them, but she spent a lot of time in their company. She probably worshipped them like gods, or had been tricked into thinking she was their friend. If his instinct served him, and it always did, and if his endless hours of study in forbidden libraries beneath forgotten crypts had prepared him, as it always had before, it meant, Eddie suspected, that at least one of the sadistic bastards was playing with this poor specimen, like a cat batting a mouse around before it makes a killing blow. Eddie shuddered.

The boy who walked in next—tall and lanky with a long black ponytail similar to his own—had an even more disagreeable smell. This smell was not directly evil, but was terrifying because it was so familiar. Eddie's father and grandfather had both smelled like that. The boy had wolf blood. There could be no other explanation.

The wolf tapped the girl on the shoulder, motioned to Eddie, and said to her quietly, thinking Eddie couldn't hear, "Bella, watch out for that guy. I have a really bad feeling about him."

The pervasive pall of evil, and the smell that accompanied it (detectable only by the most adept humans), grew stronger until it was almost palpable. The door opened again, and a boy walked in. He looked to be about seventeen years old; tall, dark, handsome, pale skin, golden-bronze hair, piercing eyes. But there was no way it could be human; Eddie, thanks to his training (and his good pal Johnny Walker), could tell that it was one of them.

His eyes widened. It was a Cullen, no doubt about that, and here it was walking around in broad daylight with a human in tow. No wonder the Cullen clan had chosen an isolated place like Forks as their stomping ground; they were possessed of even more sadism than the average abomination, and of course had the patience of Job. That was the only explanation. For a fleeting moment, Eddie felt sad for the girl; a human being about to be betrayed and cut down in the prime of her life. But he pushed this from his mind; if she wanted to be one of them, calling her a snake would be an insult to snakes (because a snake was born a snake without a choice in the matter), and if she honestly believed the façade this monster had put up, she was an idiot and would be doing the human race a service by removing herself from it.

The monster's eyes narrowed menacingly and connected with Eddie's. Eddie returned the death-glare, thrust a hand into his jacket, pulled back the hammer on the left barrel of his coach gun. On the very edge of his consciousness, he felt something attempting to break into his mind, to read his thoughts; he pushed the interloping force away with relative ease.

The girl put a hand on the monster's chest, pointed to Eddie, and said, "Edward, let's leave; that guy's giving me the creeps."

The monster nodded. Shooting a warning glare in Eddie's direction, it turned to leave, the girl and the wolf following close behind. As they passed through the door, Eddie, heard it whisper to the girl, "I can't read his thoughts, either."

Edward looked Carlisle directly in the eyes and said simply, "There's a problem."

Carlisle nodded solemnly. "What is it?"

"In town today, I saw a man, and I know he could tell what I am. I tried to read his thoughts, but he felt it and pushed me away. He's a hunter, I'm sure of it; one of the last of that dying order."

"We've dealt with hunters before, Edward. He has weapons and training, but he's only a human; no match for you. It'll be a full moon in two days, and enough time has passed for that empty-headed girlchild you run around with to be ripe and ready to feed on. If this hunter attempts to get in your way, kill him."

"I intend to."

Carlisle laughed. When Edward inquired as to what was so funny, he laughed again and said, "It's amazing, really, how stupid these humans can be at times. That girlchild, for instance: What is it she thinks you think?"

Edward chortled sadistically and said, "She thinks I love her."