Chapter One - Devil in Disguise

Disclaimer - I don't own anything Twilight related, that all belongs to one Stephanie Meyer.

Authors Note:

So, this is an idea that recently came to my brain after re-visiting the series after years. I'm trying to keep close to the timeline of the original story, but I am also more than likely going to have to make some changes. I'm probably taking a lot of creative liberties with what I've done with the Cullen's before the story of Twilight begins, and I hope it all makes sense and isn't too out there! It should all come together as the story unfolds.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this weird ride!

You look like an angel

Walk like an angel

Talk like an angel

But I got wise

You're the devil in disguise

Devil in Disguise, Elvis Presley

20th January 2005

To anyone looking in from the outside, I, Clara Miller, probably looked like a fool. I was neither a gifted dancer nor singer, but that didn't stop me from turning the music blasting from my car radio up even higher, as I crossed into Forks, Washington. Most people would hate the give or take twenty hour drive from Alberta, Canada to this small tree infested town, but not me.

My mom loathed taking long distance road trips with me, my constant chatter and singing tiring her out more than the actual driving. She preferred short weekend breaks where she could sit somewhere nice and watch the world go by. Since my dad, Richard, died four years ago from cancer, my mom had lost some of the life that she used to have. She became a mellow, quiet woman, though no less caring and kind. She is the strongest person I know, always focusing on helping everyone else, often forgetting about her own well-being. I suppose that's why she became a nurse. Well, that and the fact that unlike me, she didn't squirm at the sight of a needle.

Over the last year or two my mom and I had decided to take trips around the US, Canada and on occasion Europe, putting the money my father had left us to good use. Richard Miller was always up for a good adventure, and thanks to him we could visit the places he always wanted to, filling up a memory book in his honor.

It had been months since our last, and most likely, final trip. And now here I was, car packed full, my entire life in boxes and bags. Three weeks ago I had walked into the tiny apartment in a small Alberta town, to find my now ex boyfriend in bed with someone who was definitely not me. I was almost confused at how I was dealing with the whole situation. After the initial shock wore off, I wasn't overly upset. It was easy to see from the outside that Nick and I were only together because it was almost routine, comfortable. We had been together since high school, and after my dad's death, I decided to stay in Canada with Nick, while my mum moved back to her home town of Forks.

Nick wasn't the only one to get some relief the night he was caught. With the weight of my dying relationship off of my shoulders, and nothing more keeping my twenty-three year old self, in Canada, I bid my aunt and uncle a farewell, blocked my ex's number, and packed up my stuff.

And that is how I ended up in this small rainy town. As much as I loved Alberta, there was something exciting about moving to a new place for the first time. My mom was of course ecstatic when I called her to inform her of my decision. She tried to be comforting given the situation but I could feel her excitement through the phone.

Being honest, I think she's lonely. Sally Miller wasn't one to gossip, but she never really mentioned anyone outside the occasional interaction with a grocer. It made my heart ache. My mom had lost her best friend, her soul mate, and there was nothing I could do to fix the pain, especially when I could barely deal with my own.

I missed my dad almost every day. I missed his kind brown eyes, and weird laugh. Sometimes I found myself struggling to remember certain things about him,the panic of forgetting causing me to cry into the nearest pillow. I tried though, to move on from the grief. I didn't want it following me around for the rest of my days, like an extra limb and neither did my dad; he had said so himself not long before he passed.

Experiencing the loss had lit a fire inside of me. I didn't want to waste any time, or have any regrets. I wanted to make as many memories as I could in the time I had. And despite all odds, perhaps Forks would be the place to do just that.

Though as I drove through the town, head still bopping in time to the music, I noticed immediately that nothing had really changed. The last and only time I had ever been to Forks was in 2002, when I had come to spend the summer with my mother, and as far as I could tell, it was much the same as it had been then.

There was something about the small town that drew me in. There was an almost eerie atmosphere here, something… supernatural. When I had told my mum as much she merely laughed in reply, shaking her head. I had always had a fascination with the weird and unnatural. Ghost stories, tales of monsters and the occult had always captured me, and I consumed as much of it as my brain could possibly manage. Every teenager has their 'phase'. Mine just happened to be everything weird. My mom hoped I would have moved past this phase by now, but at twenty-three, it was just as strong as it was when I was in High School. I was just a lot more subtle about it with anyone that wasn't my mother.

Mom would always be so embarrassed when I would claim some poor Canadian was a supernatural creature. I was once so convinced that my grade nine English teacher was a secret mermaid, that I threw a bottle of sea water I had collected over her during class. I got grounded for two months after that, and my mom took away my conspiracy books for a time, though my dad snuck them back to me after my punishment was over. I always said that anything was possible. My dad would then say people like me were the reason scammer fortune tellers were still in business.

So in 1998, when I was realised there was something off about some of the new students that moved to Alberta and joined the local high school, I had kept that information to myself. Not only did I know that my mother and father would never believe a word I would say, but it was also the year my dad had got given his terminal diagnosis. My mom and dad had to move an hour away from our small town to my grandparents home, my mom needing the extra support. I had moved in with my aunt and uncle so I could continue on with my education, able to visit my parents every weekend.

Due to the distance, and struggling to deal with everything that was happening, my parents never heard a peep about the Cullen's and the weirdness that seemed to radiate from them. They mostly kept to themselves, having a strange 'culty' family dynamic. I never saw Mr and Mrs Cullen, though I had heard enough about them from the student gossip mill. They had adopted three children; Alice, Emmett and Edward, and had fostered two more: Rosalie and Jasper Hale, the twins.

Day after day I had to listen to people go on and on about how gorgeous they all were, as though I didn't have eyes of my own. They were the most attractive people I had ever seen. Annoyingly so. You can't help but be slightly self-conscious when Rosalie Hale is across the room, with skin as smooth as porcelain, and then the queen of high school Mina Holloway is calling me pizza face and speccy every other day.

It was strange. Despite them, being the centre of attention any time they entered a room, most people seemed to unconsciously avoid them, myself included. There was something in my gut telling me to run the other way when one was walking in my direction.

That was until Alice Cullen was assigned my partner in class, and so a strange friendship was born. I always thought I was a very cheery person, but Alice took the cake in that regard. It was always bizarre to me how different she seemed to be in comparison to her siblings. Well except maybe Emmett, who on occasion would wave at me after I began spending time with his sister.

For almost a year Alice was probably my closest friend, which I suppose wasn't such a high bar to beat when you're known as the weird girl who believed in mermaids and ghosts. Alice was a light in the very dark period of my life, and I was thankful to her for more than one thing during that time.

And yet, over the entire course of our friendship there was always some underlying mystery. Something that called to me to solve, to dig deeper to discover the truth. I was always too nosy for my own good and inevitably it would eventually get me into trouble.

I barely knew anything about Alice in the time I had known her. Even now I still didn't have any answers to my burning questions. Any time I would ask something personal, ( 'Why do you never invite me around to your house?' 'Why do you move around so much?' 'What's up with you all having the same weird eye colour?') she would get quite tense, though she tried to hide it. She would skirt around the question, never giving me a straight answer, or quickly changing the subject. Sometimes she would get this weird spaced out look on her face, like she was disappearing inside her own head. I tried to ask her if it was some sort of seizure, but it was just another thing she would pretend didn't occur. It was hard for my teenage mind to not get irritated with her over it all, but it was equally as hard to stay angry at Alice for too long. She seemed to always know exactly when I would no longer be annoyed, winning me over with her perfect smile.

I knew I shouldn't have pushed. Clearly the topic of family was a touchy one for her and the rest of her siblings, as I soon realised I was getting glares from across any room I entered, particularly from Rosalie and Edward.

I wanted to stop the questions from pouring from my foolish sixteen year old mouth, to just let Alice continue being a ray of sunshine for me. Yet, that gut feeling prevailed.

There was something very wrong with the Cullen's.

They lived on the outskirts of the town, in the middle of the woods, which, uh, creepy. And Alice was always freezing. Any time she hugged me, (which was always, that girl was a hugger), I felt as though I just stepped into a walk-in freezer. They would always disappear in the warm weather, to go 'camping', and I don't think I ever saw Alice properly eat anything. Not once.

My brain would run away with me, and I started to dream about all the monsters the Cullen clan could take the form of, until there was only one possible answer. One I realised after a re-watch of the 1958 version of Dracula, with my dad. One of his personal favourites.


What a terrifying thought. Yet also thrilling. Had I been friends with a vampire for a time? Or had we even been friends at all? Was I just a snack, waiting to be drained of life?

I avoided Alice the day after I came to this conclusion, though after what seemed to be an argument from her siblings, and yet another one of those far off looks, she didn't try very hard to approach me, merely giving me a sad, pained smile from across the parking lot.

It was later that same day, that a short, but terrifying event occurred.

I had been running late, the hallway empty as everyone else dispersed toward their next class. I was removing books from my locker when it was slammed shut in a flash, nearly hitting me in the process. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and a cold fear consumed me. I remember not being able to move, barely able to breathe as I looked into the pitch black eyes of Rosalie Hale. I could barely contemplate the change in her eye colour, as the look on her face shot terror through my veins.

She looked so enraged, as though I had personally wronged her in some way, and I knew in that moment I had dug too deep, that they somehow knew all of my contemplation about them, that I knew a secret. Standing before me was not the teenage beauty who would send her hateful looks in my direction. It was a monster, a predator. And she looked as though she was about to end me. It wasn't until her twin brother placed a hand on her shoulder, that I looked away from those piercing orbs.

Jasper's intense, golden eyes were also trained on my petrified form, though his expression was blank, controlled. I let out a breath, unaware of how desperately I had been looking to him, as though he would save me, forgetting completely that whatever Rosalie was, there was no doubt her brother was the same. Yet he seemed intent on stopping her, and my silly mind took that as a good sign.

I snapped my eyes back to Rosalie as she shrugged her brothers hand from her shoulder, preparing myself for an attack. But it never came. She had stormed away as quickly as she had appeared, not saying a word, and I watched as she went, until she was out of sight. It was only then that I realised Jasper was still standing in place watching me, his expression still guarded, yet I swore I saw some curiosity in that handsome face. Then he too turned on his heel and walked away, following his twin.

I decided to skip the rest of the day, telling my aunt I was feeling sick. And I suppose at the time it wasn't a complete lie. I had the worst nightmares that night. I wasn't a very religious person, but those black eyes haunted me, they were like the eyes of a demon.

The next day I wanted to be prepared. If there was in fact a family of vampires stalking the halls of my school, then it was time to don my metaphorical Van Helsing hat. I stole the cross that hung on the living room wall of my aunt and uncles home, hoping they wouldn't notice it was missing.

I needn't have bothered.

The next day the Cullen's weren't at school. Nor were they the day after that. Over night, they had disappeared. Alice had disappeared.

She was a ghost, there one minute and then gone the next. And I knew that it was entirely my fault. Not that I could tell anyone. Who would believe me? The weird mermaid girl. It was known that the Cullen's seemed to move around a lot, and so everyone in the small town seemed to accept their leaving as un-suspicious, especially since they had been residences for less than a year. Barely any time to settle. No one knew where they had gone, and it didn't take long for me to miss my best friend. I tried to email Alice a few times, but I never got a reply, not that I expected to, me assuming she was a vampire and all that.

After a while, I toned down the supernatural intrigue, at least in public, and my parents moved back in the months that followed. I threw myself into looking after and spending time with my dying father, and my budding relationship with Nick. Eventually, any remnants of the Cullen's were gone, as though they had never been there in the first place.

The older I got, the more I convinced myself that I had imagined the whole thing. A distraction that I had conjured up, to forget about the overwhelming sadness that followed me during that period of my life. The memories seemed to blur more and more as the years went by.

Yet, every now and then I dreamed of that family. That final sad smile, those dark devil's eyes, and my handsome blonde monster in shining armour.

And now here I was, five years since I had graduated, in many ways the same person, and in many ways, not.

I pulled the car to a stop in front of my mothers home, beside her own parked car. I glanced at the time: 17:34 PM

It was a nice area, the house that my mom was living in was a neat little two bedroom, the garden plain, but well kept. I switched the engine off quickly, the music cutting out mid song. The world seemed completely quiet in that moment, as I stepped out of the vehicle, and onto Forks soil. I took in a deep breath of wet nature air, stretching my legs after the long journey. I glanced around me, smiling at the trees that could be seen from every angle. I noticed the house across the way had a police cruiser sitting outside the front. I quirked an eyebrow; good to know if I'm about to be murdered, I only have to run across the street to get the cops.

I grabbed my bag from the passenger seat, pushing the door closed. After a moment I felt my face break out in a wide toothy grin, and I almost hopped away from the car, and skipped up the steps to the door of my new humble abode. I bounced in anticipation, my hand on the door knob. Then with a giggle I threw the door open, rushing into the open living room.

"Mother! I have arrived!" I threw my hands out like a theater performer about to bow after a successful performance, pausing dramatically for my applause.

My grin fell. The only response I got was the sound of thunderous snoring. Looking to my left, I immediately spotted my mother, head leaning over the back of the sofa, mouth open, fast asleep.

My mouth fell open in shock, hands on hips, "Unbelievable."

I walked forward until I reached the front of the sofa, standing directly in front of my mother. I watched her snoring form, a smirk forming on my lips. I quickly pulled out my phone, recording a nice close up of my mothers face. Satisfied with the short video, I put my phone away, watching for a moment longer.

Then I opened my mouth, and out came the loudest shout I could manage.

Sally Millers eyes shot open, her own scream escaping her as she tumbled onto the wood floor. She rolled about grasping for a weapon, ending up with a pillow in her hands. The noise died out as recognition filled her face, her stare darkening as she watched my form, unable to keep the hysterical laughter from running away from me at the sight of my mother sprawled out on the floor.

I wiped away an imaginary tear, as my mom pushed herself from the ground, grumbling, though I could see the delight at my sudden appearance in her cozy living-room beginning to form on her face.

"Oh mother dearest. How I've missed you!"

I squealed as a pillow hit me square in the face.