"Alexander. Let go of me or you'll never get any breakfast."
Long brown hair tickled my nose as I nestled my face in my mother's shoulder. My arms were wrapped tightly around her.
Elise Theodore, the kindest woman I'd ever met and my mother of 16 years. It was my birthday a few days ago and she had decorated the entire house with banners and balloons.
My father was a police officer and a good friend of Charlie's. I had met the Chief of Police several times over the years.
"I'll take it to go mum, I'm going out!" I replied, reluctantly letting go of her.
There was nearly a foot of difference between our heights. I was tall, not tremendously so, but compared to my 5'2 mother I was practically a giant.
"See you later, love you!" I called out, shutting the door behind me.
The morning air filled my lungs. It was cold and damp just like so much of Forks.
I started to jog.
It was a known fact that wolf packs dwelled in the forests in Forks. Against a pack of hungry snarling beasts an ordinary person stood no chance. Even with a gun, their safety could not be guaranteed.
Naturally it was therefore rare to see anyone travelling through the forests on foot.
I was a bit of an exception to this.
I had been sharing the forests with the Cullen's since they arrived a few years ago. Hiding my scent while they hunted was an inconvenience but it was much better than having to worry about my parents safety all the time.
It had occurred to me after my birth that I had entirely forgotten to place myself near the plot. Fortunately Gabriel had taken care of my mistake.
The original Alexander would've been a nameless background character. Other than being in the same year as Bella he had absolutely no value to the plot at all.
I had turned this all around.
Amongst my year group I had a stellar reputation. I was smart, athletic, handsome; the model student.
I had never spoken to any of the holier-than-thou Cullen's but I had heard my name mentioned in their conversations.
Other than Bella and Charlie the show rarely delved into the Cullen's interactions with ordinary people.
Their unique relationships and closed-off personalities built an invisible wall between them and the other students. For the moment they still viewed me as nothing more than a slightly above average human, but with Bella's imminent arrival this was destined to change.
I smiled, 'I'll see you soon Bella.'
After 16 years my world was finally going to change. I could hardly wait.
I also hadn't been twiddling my thumbs while I waited.
Gabriel's gift hadn't arrived until my 15th birthday. He had come to me shortly after my birth and explained that it would be of no use before then.
During those years I had trained my body and willpower.
At present my physical body was no weaker than a shapeshifter in human form. Furthermore when compared to the limited methods of a shapeshifter I was countless times more versatile.
It was impossible for an ordinary human to match the powerful physique and surging vitality of a shapeshifter. Some limits simply could not be broken.
So how had I achieved such supernatural physical prowess?
"Like they say. If you can't beat them, join them." I muttered to myself.
The Great Devil Scripture.
This was Gabriel's gift to me.
I had requested a method to grow stronger without limit. I had expected to receive a system or perhaps a heaven-defying talent.
Instead I received a strange and tattered manual. Mysterious symbols and drawings filled it's endless pages.
Thus I embarked on a journey of cultivation.
Qi-Refinement, Foundation Establishment, Golden Core, Nascent Soul...
It had taken me a year to progress from the first stage of Qi-Refinement to the tenth. Now I was preparing to break through to the next realm.
Qi-Refinement cultivators expanded their Qi Sea and purified their muscles, bones and organs. They were powerful beings who could weave fire and defy logic.
Yet a vampire could tear them to shreds in a matter of minutes.
'I must break through before the plot starts. Before Foundation Establishment I'll still be nothing more than a snack to them!'
Humans, even those with magical powers, were simply too fragile compared to the legendary Cold Ones.
Immortality, true immortality.
Even a Nascent Soul cultivator who could distort time and space and call the winds and rain could only live for a thousand years.
Vampires brazenly defied the laws of nature.
They didn't need air or sleep. They could sustain monstrous strength and speed with little more than a few glasses of blood and only fire could truly destroy them.
Their gifts also gave me a huge headache.
I could hide my true thoughts from Edward by projecting false ones, cultivation tempered the mind and made this a relatively easy feat.
But defending myself against Aro's mind reading or Jane's pain-infliction...maybe only Bella's shield could accomplish this.
'Fortunately I have you.' I thought to myself, picturing the ratty manual stored under a floorboard in my room.
'I must hurry up and break through!'
Taking a deep breath I quickened my pace.
'At least I don't get cold anymore.'
The thought put a smile on my face as I jogged along. At least I had something to show for my cultivation.