Quirk of Fate

Disclaimer: all characters and copyright belong to Stephanie Meyer.

A/N-set five years after Breaking Dawn AU.

Prologue

Shannon was frightened. There were legs everywhere and she couldn't see through them. Strange faces looked down at her with concern as arms reached out to stop her running, but she managed to avoid them all. Her breath came in short pants as she ducked and weaved her way through the throng of people. Her mommy had to be here somewhere, she had to. She stared around trying to capture a glimpse of her mommy's long chestnut hair or her bright brown eyes, but she couldn't see her, not anywhere. Shannon's little heart beat frantically in her chest as the panic began to overwhelm her. Black spots appeared in her line of vision, making her sight blurry and hard to see. Her whole body shook, hands trembling, legs wobbling, feet stumbling. It was all too much, the panic, anxiety and fear all rolled into one. "MOMMY." She screamed at the top of her lungs. "MOMMY." She whirled around, her long blonde hair hitting her in the face making her stagger forward, right into the back of someone's legs.


Warm hands rested on her shoulders, and a soothing voice broke through her panic, easing her anxiety and allowing her to open her eyes. A tall man, with a kind smile and tan skin was kneeling down in front of her. It was his legs she had bumped into in her desperate dash to find her mommy. She saw his mouth moving and finally she heard his words as her hearing came back in a rush. Shannon breathed deeply, her blue eyes trained on the kind man's face. "What's your name, little one?" He was asking.

"Shan." She whispered. A crowd was forming around them and she became agitated. She heard someone suggest calling the police and anxiety welled up in her chest. Her mommy was scared of the police. Whenever they saw one mommy would grab her hand and they would hide until it was safe to go out again.

"That's a cute name." The kind man took one hand off of her shoulder and held out it out to her. "Nice to meet you, I'm Jake."

"Nice meet you." Shannon echoed him.

The man called Jake smiled and gestured at a petite woman with black hair and skin the same shade as his. She bent down too and stroked Shannon's hair back from her face. "Hello sweetheart, I'm Rachel. I'm his sister. Is your mommy or daddy here?" She asked gently. "Are you lost?"

Shannon nodded her head vigorously, causing her blonde bangs to fall into her eyes. That was why they were out today; they were supposed to be going to a salon so she could get her hair tidied up. But her mommy had stopped to look in a shop window at some dresses. Shannon had been holding lightly onto her hand when she had spotted a small dog being led by a rotund woman. Shannon loved dogs; she had slipped quickly away, following after the woman and her dog. She longed to stroke its smooth fur. But soon the woman turned a corner and disappeared. When Shannon paused to look for her mommy she couldn't see her and panicked. "I wan' mommy." She whispered, tears springing to her eyes. "Please get my mommy." She begged.

Jake exchanged a worried glance with his sister Rachel before turning back to face Shannon. "What's your mommy's name?" He asked softly so as not to startle her.

"Bell…Bella. B-E-L-L-A." Shannon was proud that she could spell her mommy's name. Her mommy had insisted she learn how to spell both her name and address. "CULLEN. C-U-L-L-E-N." She began to smile tremulously until she saw Jake fall backwards as if her words had shot him like a bullet from a gun.

Rachel appeared speechless as she stared at her brother's shocked face. "No." He was muttering to himself. Shannon thought he looked quite sickly now. His face had turned ashen and his dark eyes had widened as if in pain.

"Did I get my mommy's name wrong?" Shannon asked fearfully.

Rachel recovered first. "No, sweetie." She reassured the little girl. "How old are you?"

"One, three, two, four…" Shannon held up three fingers in front of her.

"Wow you're a clever girl for four being able to spell your mommy's name." Rachel had placed a hand on her brother's shoulder; he was sitting back on his heels in a daze. "What does your mommy look like?"

Shannon scraped the front of her shoe on the sidewalk as she gave it some thought. "Mommy pretty. Um…brown hair." She touched her own head as she spoke. "Um…brown eyes….um…"

"And white skin?" Jake seemed to have recovered a little. He knelt upright again, an indefinable look in his eyes as he studied Shannon carefully. "Is your mommy cold?" He asked.

"Jake?" Rachel said warningly. She glared at her brother but he ignored her.

They were interrupted from their strange conversation by the sound of a woman screaming Shannon's name. The crowd gathered around them parted like the red sea and Shannon turned swiftly, a smile lighting up her face when she saw her mommy charging toward her. "MOMMY." She tore away from Jake and Rachel, completely forgetting about them. "I'M HERE. MOMMY."

"My baby." Shannon was swept up in her mother's arms, both of them crying tears of joy at being reunited. "I was so frightened. You must never let go of mommy's hand again, baby. Never again. Promise me?"

"I sorry. I promise." Shannon babbled as her little arms encircled her mommy's neck and held on tight.

The crowd started to move on now that mother and daughter had been reunited. Bella breathed easier as the fear began to melt away. She had never been so scared in her life, and that was saying something considering what she had been through. She had only looked away from Shannon for a moment as she studied a price on one of the dresses in the window, and bam her daughter was gone. She hugged her daughter tight to her chest, one hand stroking the silvery blonde hair. This little girl meant everything to her. She may not be her natural born daughter, but she was every bit as precious, even more so. Bella was totally unaware that she had an audience behind her as she started to walk away. It was only when Shannon pulled back and waved at someone that she stopped and turned round. The breath left her body and her heart pounded in her chest for the second time that day.

"Long time no see, Bells." Jake said coolly as he looked her right in the eyes.

A/N-eek! Thanks for reading!