First and foremost I own none of this. I am only borrowing characters created by Stephenie Meyer. I hope I have done them justice.

Secondly, thank you to my betareaders Alphie and Milasmith, who let me know what's missing and that commas are a good thing.

"There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere."

Jane Austen

Prologue Awakenings

Nomads wander never needing to look beyond the present. We tell ourselves that there is nothing more that we need than a new horizon. After almost three hundred years, I thought I had perfected the routine of packing up my life into a neat little box every seven years and moving on.

For years I lived, or should I say functioned on my own. I had convinced myself that I didn't need companionship. Despite my convictions, I found that you can never rely too heavily on "the plan". No matter how detailed the plan, it's always subject to alteration. Edward, well, he certainly was a major alteration. He was the only time I'd allowed myself to concede that my plan had a flaw.

To save someone from death, I had to offer them more than just life. Love. Affection. Tenderness. These were not emotions unknown to me, but they were buried back in England with Elizabeth, who I lost so long ago. I told myself that I was doing my best to show these things to Edward. The reality: anything done half-way, and half-heartedly is doomed to failure. Every day I felt the son I saved drifting further away from me.

I told myself that a fresh start was all we needed. A simple answer to a simple problem. Looking back now it's ironic how much I believed that lie. Then again, the only person I was ever truly capable of lying to was myself. Oh, I could put on an act, play a role. I didn't consider those things lies. They were necessities to my survival, but sometimes I'd forget…no, not forget…again lying to myself…I wouldn't allow myself to face painful truths about the life I'd chosen for Edward and me. It was easier to assure myself that after two and a half centuries, I knew exactly what I was doing. I couldn't have been more arrogantly self-deluded if I tried.

Fortunately for me, God works in mysterious ways. When you least expect it, he turns all your plans upside down with the simplest of ease. It's all in the choices He gives you. The question is are you brave enough to risk the unknown, admit you made a mistake, and walk down a better path?

I'm getting ahead of myself, maybe I should just go back to the beginning: the morgue, the last week of work in Ashland, 1921…