I never imagined I would live long enough to learn the true meaning of the word family or even get the chance to experience love.

My life didn't exactly have the greatest beginning. When I was two, my parents became the victims of a desperate man's plight. He was in desperate need of money and my parents had that in spades. They, however, didn't give in to their attackers demands. As a result, I had been forced to watch their murders. Unfortunately, my cries of sorrow attracted the killer's attention, and I was turned into another means of income. He stole me away from my home and sold me to a sadistic Arminian gang boss. He became my Master, and it was under his care that I was forced to fight to the death against other captured children for the amusement of a crowd. I was five years old when I first took the life of another. It was at that moment that I became resigned to my fate. It was at the age of eight that I was raped by my Master, and it was then that I had lost all hope of ever being free of his control. The next few years of my life became a blur of blood and pain before coming to an abrupt stop.

When I was twelve, I was given a chance at a new life. The compound I was being held in fell victim to a very successful FBI raid. After what felt like an endless barrage of questions and medical exams, it fully sunk in that I wouldn't be forced to return to my master's clutches. For the first time in my life, I realized I would have a choice about what to do with my life. A whole world of possibilities had been opened to me. One thing was for certain, I knew I wasn't going to let that chance go to waste. After a lot of medical and mental health examinations I was awarded the opportunity to attend school. I took full advantage and ended up completing my high school education by the age of fifteen. Coincidentally, it was at this age that I discovered I still had living family left in this world in the form of an uncle.

As soon as Charlie Swan was notified of my existence, he took the first flight he could get to Georgia, where CPS was holding me. To say I was nervous to meet my uncle would be an understatement… I was terrified. Fortunately, my fears were unwarranted. It became apparent quickly that Charlie was a genuinely kind human being, something I didn't have a lot of experience with. After a week of getting to know each other, he asked if I would like to come and live with him. My response was instantaneous; I wanted to experience what it was like having a family.

The custody negotiations began immediately and lasted for a year. Due to my initial upbringing, it took the courts a while to set appropriate conditions for my placement in Charlie's care. It was around that time that I found out I had inherited quite a bit of old money from my parents, and I was allowed to access the trust fund they had set up for me per their wills. I was glad because it allowed me to pay for my own belongings. I didn't want my uncle to feel financially burdened with me around.

It was at the age of sixteen that I was finally able to leave Georgia and head to Forks, Washington with my uncle. No words could describe how grateful I was to have someone like Charlie in my life. Since day one of gaining custody of me he became a silent, ever-present support. Per the courts order it became mandatory for me to attend the local high school until graduation even though I had already completed my education at that level. The explanation given was that attending would give me the appropriate opportunity for social interaction with peers my own age. The other stipulation was physical and mental check-up's at least every six months until I came of age. It could have been worse, so I didn't complain.

My first look at my new home was like a breath of fresh air. It held a cozy lived in charm that I had never experienced before. I still remember the look on Charlie's face when he showed me my new room. He explained that he had converted the attic into a bedroom for me so that I could have a place all my own and seemed anxious to see if I approved of it.

It was a square room with dark wood floors that matched the slanted ceiling. The walls were painted a warm dark grey with dark red wood furniture spaced around the room, a dresser was placed opposite the bed, a nightstand was placed on both sides of the bed, and a wardrobe was situated along the wall opposite the window. The bed was a queen size and centered on the wall opposite the door with dark red bedding and black accents. There was a black fuzzy rug underneath the bed with a dark red felt chair in the corner by the wardrobe. A nice sized desk was situated under a window that faced the back yard which had an amazing view of the forest. Black curtains decorated the window, and a decent sized bookshelf was placed by the desk.

After taking in the room, I turned around and tackled a nervous looking Charlie with the biggest hug I had ever given anyone in my life. The smile and laugh I received in response is an image I'll forever remember.

During my time living with Charlie, he was always there when I needed him, even for the most miniscule things. He even gifted me my prized 67' Chevy Impala for Christmas my first year with him. The only regret I had was that I hadn't met him earlier on in my life.

Over the last two years I spent time restoring my Impala, attending the local high school in addition to taking online college courses, and even making a few friends. My life finally felt like it was heading in the right direction.

Unfortunately, a curveball was heading my way. My cousin was coming to live with my uncle and I here in Forks, Washington. I wasn't exactly sure how her arrival would affect the stability I had finally gained, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against my cousin. I just don't really know her or understand her. I have a hard time understanding how she could be happy with only seeing my uncle two weeks out of the year. From what I've experienced he's more than willing to sacrifice his own happiness for the sake of those he cares about. Trying not to judge her before I truly get to know her has been exceedingly difficult. It doesn't help that the only interaction I've had with her is a total of four weeks over the last two years, in California.

I was currently in the kitchen trying to keep my mind off of thoughts regarding her impending arrival by figuring out what to do about dinner. I had been offered the chance to tag along with Charlie to pick up Isabella but decided against it. My justification for this was giving my uncle a chance to catch up with his daughter without me around. It was while I was in the midst of contemplating what to order from takeout that I noticed a now familiar police cruiser pulling into the driveway.

When my cousin stepped out of the car, I couldn't help but compare our features. Isabella and I both had very light skin and stood at a similar height with me being only one inch taller at 5'5" to her 5'4". That was where our similarities appeared to end. She was very slender with a narrow frame, long brown hair, and wide doe shaped brown eyes. I on the other hand have long deep burgundy red hair that was borderline black, almond shaped emerald-green eyes, and an athletic hourglass figure to complement my 128 pounds of weight.

While taking in her unenthusiastic expression, I noticed the small cactus she was carrying. I guess that qualifies as an effective way of bringing a small piece of Arizona with her to this forever-rainy town. In an attempt at being polite, I chose to greet her from the kitchen doorway.

"Hey Isabella, it's good to see you. How was the flight?"

Isabella gave me a somewhat bewildered look before responding.

"Um, it's just Bella … the flight was alright. It's good to see you too Daenerys. It's been a while."

"Yeah, no kidding. You can call me Danny if you'd like. Daenerys can kind of be a mouthful," I replied with a forced chuckle in an attempt to dispel the awkwardness our impromptu conversation carried.

"Um, sure… Danny it is…"

Well, I guess my attempt at coming across as welcoming failed miserably. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, she excused herself to go upstairs and unpack. In an attempt to console myself after that pathetic attempt at interaction I decided to order a pizza. Only time will tell how everything will turn out.

The next morning, I found myself sitting in front of the easel in my room painting a landscape of the forest in the backyard from memory. My goal for this exercise was to try and relax before the start of a new school day. As usual, I was only able to sleep for about three hours before I was up and trying to find something to entertain myself with until I was due to get ready for school. After finishing my last brush stroke, I looked at my clock and decided that now was as good a time as any to officially start the day.

I decided to wear a forest green long sleeved V-neck shirt, black skinny jeans, black heeled boots, and a black leather jacket. While checking myself in the mirror I decided to wear my hair down. After that, I added black eyeliner in a wing along with mascara to my eyes and a peach rose lipstick to my lips. After putting on my ruby teardrop necklace, gifted to me by my uncle, I grabbed my messenger bag and started to head down the stairs to get some coffee.

When I got to the kitchen, I noticed Bella already sitting at the table picking at her breakfast and looking out the window. I fixed myself a thermos of coffee and decided to once again subject myself to another sad excuse of a conversation with my introverted cousin.

"Did you want a lift to school today, or did you want to drive yourself?"

My voice visibly startled her before she stuttered out an answer.

"Um… I-I was going to d-drive myself, but thanks for the offer."

After that, she quickly gathered her bag and parka before heading out the door. I was beginning to seriously get concerned about my conversation abilities. They must be worse than I thought considering I couldn't start one that lasted for longer than five minutes. When I heard the roar of her truck's engine disappear down the road, I sighed to myself and wondered if all our interactions were doomed to be this awkward.

I didn't see Bella again until lunch. Considering that I'm a senior while she's a junior, I wasn't too surprised. I saw her seated at a table with the school gossip, Jessica Stanley. I grabbed the most edible looking food items from the lunch line while I shook my head at my cousin's poor choice of company. I headed over to what the rest of the school called, the "Cullen's table", and started eating my meal. Looking around, I noticed my cousin staring when my friends entered the cafeteria. They grabbed their trays and walked by Bella's table as Jessica could be seen whispering excitedly to Bella, no doubt gossiping about the Cullen family.

The first thing out of Rosalie's mouth as she sat down next to me was, "Your cousin has horrible taste in friends."

This led to Emmett and me laughing while shaking our heads. Once everyone was seated, Jasper commented on Bella's behavior.

"Your cousin is staring at us."

I saw that she was indeed, openly staring at our table with her mouth open. Sighing to myself, I rolled my eyes and responded.

"I never said she was polite. Besides, she mostly seems to be making goo-goo eyes at Edward."

Hearing my teasing words, Edward turned to glare at me. This caused me to respond by very maturely sticking my tongue out at him. He rolled his eyes and decided to then ignore my existence. Deciding to disregard my cousin's rude behavior for the time being, I turned to Jasper and Rose to see when they wanted to get together to work on the group history project we had been assigned yesterday.

Edward's P.O.V.

I couldn't read her mind. I couldn't help but compare her mind to the only other being that stopped my gift. Danny's mind felt more like shifting shadows that distorted her thoughts while her cousins felt like I was tuned in on the wrong frequency. I wonder if it's because their related. I decided I would try to figure out this new puzzle later after discussing my discovery with Carlisle.

Bella's P.O.V.

I had been listening to Jessica as she warned me not to try to gain Edward Cullen's affection when I noticed my cousin sticking her tongue out at the aforementioned male.

"Does Danny always sit with them?"

"Sit with them? They're pretty much the only people your cousin ever even talks to," the nasally voice of Lauren answered her question in disgust and what appeared to be veiled jealousy.

"I don't think she really has any other friends besides the Cullen's," Jessica added.

"Well, I think it's nice she's friends with them. No one else around here really is," the gentle voice of Angela pitched in.

Before I had the chance to enquire about their comments any further, Mike and Tyler returned to the table and pulled everyone into their discussion about the upcoming snow season and when it would start. I resolved myself to question Danny later and tried to focus in on the surrounding conversation. It didn't really work, as I kept glancing at the Cullen table for the rest of lunch.

-Time Skip-

I had been pacing back in forth in the kitchen while remembering what had happened in biology when Danny walked through the front door. She was carrying what appeared to be bags of groceries that she must have gotten after school. I didn't even wait for her to sit everything down before blurting out the question that had been plaguing my mind for the last forty minutes.

"Do I smell bad?"

Danny stared at me for a couple of seconds before coming over to where I stood and sniffed.

"No, you smell like strawberries. Why?"

At this point I told my cousin about then the events that occurred in biology class and in the front office after school. After taking a few moments to process my story while putting away the food she finally replied.

"Maybe he just wasn't feeling good. He seemed to be in a bit of a mood today at lunch. If it were me, I wouldn't worry about it. Just see what happens tomorrow. I'm going to head upstairs and start on my homework. Just holler if you need me."

With that said Danny left to go to her room in the attic. I wasn't too satisfied with my cousins' unenthusiastic take on my situation. That being said, I decided I would confront Edward Cullen in the morning before school.

Danny's P.O.V.

I was lost in thought as I made my way upstairs to my room. Edward must have been tempted by Bella's blood, there is no other explanation. Yes, I knew all about the Cullen families' biggest secret. They're vampires, and I've known about them since the first day I met them.

-Flashback-

I was sitting alone at an empty table in the cafeteria on my first day at Fork's High School. My focus was directed at my laptop and the schematics on the screen. Unnoticed by me, five unnaturally attractive people joined me at my table.

'"Are those the schematics for the engine of a 67'Chevy Impala?"

I looked up at the blonde female that had spoken. I was instantly reminded of a time when I had come across a group of individuals with similar looks, red eyes, and cruel smirks. They had been looking down at me while I stood in victory in an arena filled with blood and corpses. It was in that moment I realized that I was sitting at a table, in the middle of a crowed cafeteria, with five vampires. Trying not to let the shock of my realization show on my face, I quickly answered.

"Yes, it is. I'm restoring the one my uncle gave me for Christmas. My names Daenerys Swan by the way. You can call me Danny if you'd like. What's your name?"

After receiving a calculated look from the beautiful blonde, I was graced with an answer.

"My name is Rosalie Hale, and these are my adopted siblings."

What followed was a series of introductions in which I made the discovery that they were new to town as well. I then spent the rest of the lunch period getting to know them as people instead of the creatures I knew them to be. After much contemplation I decided that as long as they did not intend to harm my uncle or myself then I didn't really care what species they are.

-Flashback End-

To this day, the Cullen's still don't realize that I know their biggest secret, and I was hoping to keep it that way until they were ready to tell me themselves. Unfortunately, my current thoughts were centered around the worry I felt for Bella's safety. Edward had better get control of himself. I don't want to lose my only friends, but I don't want my cousin hurt either. After deciding that worrying wasn't getting me anywhere, I started to work on my assignments from my online college classes in addition to my pointless high school ones. Hopefully my cousin's presence doesn't ruin everything that is finally going right in my life.

Rosalie's P.O.V.

Rosalie was sitting in the living room with Jasper and Emmett after an unproductive and frustrating family meeting. Her thoughts turned to her relationship with Danny and how these new developments might jeopardize it. Normally she wouldn't care, but the red head had somehow wormed her way into her dead heart.

-Flashback-

It was Saturday morning, and everyone was preparing for the arrival of a human named Daenerys Swan. I had for some unknown reason, decided to offer her my assistance with her restoration project. It had only been a few weeks since I met her, and I had to admit that she was someone I could enjoy being around.

She pulled up in her Impala and parked in front of the garage like I had told her to. She had just stepped out of the car when I opened to front door to greet her.

"Good morning, ready to get to work?"

"Yeah, I can't wait! Thank you again for offering to help me, I really appreciate it"

"It's no problem. Looks like this is going to be a fun restoration, so I'm happy to help."

I opened the garage so she could pull in and we got down to work.

We had made a lot of progress by the time noon rolled around. I wouldn't have even realized the time had Esme not come to get us for lunch. Danny excused herself to wash up and I made my plate look like someone had eaten from it. After thanking Esme for her delicious meal, we decided to take a break as I showed her around the house. We were walking by Edwards's piano when she suddenly stopped to stare at it.

"Do you play?"

"I did, there was an old piano at the CPS holding center I lived in. No one really used it, so I mostly had it to myself."

I decided not to push for any more information about her life before Forks for the time being and asked her if she wanted to play.

"Are you sure it's alright?"

At my nod, she made her way over to the bench and sat down. I was rendered into a state of shock as I listened to the beautiful composition she was playing. It didn't take long for the rest of the family to come from their various locations in the house to watch the young red head play. Suffice it to say we would have all been in tears if we still had the ability to cry. The way she played conveyed so much emotion it was almost overwhelming. Sorrow, pain, and heartache where soon followed by surprise, happiness, and contentment. When she stopped playing and turned around you could see the surprise on her face. She had no clue that she had been performing for an audience. Esme was first to break the silence.

"That was so beautiful. I've never heard that song before."

"Yeah… I composed it myself… I just finished writing it last week. This was the first time I've gotten to play it in its entirety."

"It's incredible… Is there a particular meaning behind it?"

I wasn't too surprised that Edward had chosen to ask, it was his piano after all. Danny had a reminiscent look on her face as she answered.

"It's meant to reflect the story of my life…"

Thinking back on the pain and sorrow the song began with; I couldn't help but wonder what she had been through that caused her to experience such emotions. It was at that point that I saw her as a kindred spirit and decided that I would put an effort into developing our friendship.

-Flashback End-

Our relationship had grown to a point that I saw Danny as a sister rather than just a friend.

"Edward had better not screw this up."

Both Jasper and Emmett nodded in agreement. I could tell that they had both been contemplating the same thing as me. None of them wanted to lose their sister.