Disclaimer: I sadly don't own Twilight or New Moon, and I really wish that Edward were real, but I'll have to accept reality someday, won't I? A darker story. Please review. :)

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An Introduction

I cut the engine and sat in my truck, leaning my head back against the headrest. The crash-on-crash of leaves in the canopies above was soothing as the wind rustled through them, the sky threatening - as always - rain. I sighed, waiting for the tears that had been building up on the journey home to recede. Even though I had fought them the whole way.

"Stupid," I mumbled, climbing out of the cab and trudging up to the house. So what if a complete stranger hated me on sight. Sometimes things like that happened...even I got bad vibes from people. I knew I shouldn't be as offended as I was, and I tried to push those feelings out of my mind.

But the tight feeling in my chest remained. The look in Edward Cullen's eyes when he saw me was...monstrous. There was no other way to describe it. I didn't know a level of hate like that existed; especially for someone he'd never met.

I was suddenly angry, and slammed my bag down on the kitchen table. It wasn't fair. Perhaps tomorrow I could confont him about it and ask him what his problem was, if I could get past that murderous-glint-in-his-eye thing. Or maybe I should act like I didn't care at all, like he was invisible. Maybe that would put him off hating me so much.

I busied myself around the kitchen, pre-heating the oven for the chicken I was seasoning. I turned the antique radio on to an oldies station and tried to hum along to the music I didn't know. Once I thought I heard the wind come into the house, as though a door were being opened somewhere, but upon further inspection, everything was closed and locked as it should be. I shook my head - I was being paranoid. I was alone.

I was alone.

Tears fell from my eyes and I stopped working to lean over the sink, grasping the edge of the counter for support. I didn't know why, but suddenly I missed home so much, it was burning a hole in my stomach. I missed the hot sunshine and the flatness of the desert, the way my mother and I used to spray each other with the hose while she was teaching me how to garden (even though most of our tries ended in a dead flowerbed). Everything that was so close to me had been taken away, and this was unfamiliar territory. Threatening. Forked lightning streaked across the sky.

A few dry sobs shook my body as thunder rolled overhead, branches scraping at the windows. I let them come - there was no one to hear me.The radio played on in the background, and I focused on the music rather than my misery, although it didn't quite help as much as I wanted it to. I wiped my eyes and stuck the chicken in the oven, then turned to the salad.

And a few moments later, I began to feel uneasy. I didn't know what it was, but something was making me feel...

I glanced out the window and saw the rain blowing in sheets down from the green-gray sky. The sudden ring of the telephone made me jump.

"Swan residence," I said.

"Bella, honey?" Charlie's voice came distant and crackled over the phone.

"Dad? Everything all right?"

"I'm gonna be late, hun, a tree got hit by lightning and split it in half - it's blocking the road out of the station. As soon as we get it moved, I'll be home, OK?"

"That's fine, dad," I replied, trying to make my voice sound a little less stuffed up. "Dinner's almost ready - I'll make you up a plate."

"Thanks, honey," he answered, sounding relieved. "See you in a bit."

"Bye," I said, and hung up.

"Bella."

That wasn't Charlie's voice saying my name. I let out a soft scream and turned around, my body seized up with terror. And Edward Cullen walked out of the shadows of the back hallway.

"Edward?" I exclaimed in surprise, my body relaxing a little. My eyes swept his face. "How did you get in? Why are you here?"

His eyes were coal black as he stared at me. Butterflies burst into my stomach and I felt my heart melt. His hair was windblown, but achieved a look I could never hope to copy after walking through a storm. He didn't even look wet.

The radio played, a tinny sound in the background

He was coming towards me then, his body fluid and graceful. I couldn't breathe. I backed up slowly until I hit the wall, and he smiled as he reached out with a marble hand to stroke the side of my face, softly. Goosebumps erupted all over my skin.

"Bella," he whispered, and leaned into me. I felt him inhale the scent of my hair and then shudder slightly. I then realised that I wasn't standing up - he was holding me in place. I was barely using my legs, and didn't think I could if I wanted. It was all happening so fast, and a thick fog swept into my brain. I couldn't think.

"Edward," I replied, my voice husky, despite myself. Common sense told me to be furious. Didn't he hate me? "What...what are you - "

"Shhh," he interrupted, a wicked smile spreading over his godlike face.

Then his cold lips touched mine.

I couldn't help myself - I melted into him and wound my hands around the back of his neck. Our bodies crushed together and I heard him moan into my mouth. This was ecstacy - no matter that a stranger (a beautiful stranger) had broken into my house and was kissing me. I never wanted it to end. He held me to him tightly, as though he were afraid to let go. Thunder boomed around us.

Then I felt pain.

My mouth was on fire.

"Ennnnngh!" I screamed, the sound muffled. Terror broke over me and I suddenly tasted blood. Pushing as hard as I could away from him did nothing; he held me in place easily, growling, no explanation for his strength. My breathing came quick and panicked; the smell of salt and copper making my stomach turn. The world went sideways and I lost the use of my muscles.

Edward broke the kiss off and lowered me to the floor, kneeling over me. And instead of kissing me again, he brushed his lips against my throat, and he clapped a cold hand over my mouth to stifle my scream as I felt my flesh separate under the pressure of his teeth.

I screamed until I couldn't bear it anymore. An alien, horrible sensation swept through my body and I knew that I was dying.

I moaned into his hand, feeling tears seeping down the sides of my face. My body felt hollow; all strength gone. And I was so confused. Edward Cullen was sucking me dry.

His eyes were full of longing, and were so inky black, hovering above me. And his smell was amazing.

My neck was sore and I felt my heart speed up as he pulled away, yet there was no blood staining his perfect white face. He hissed and wiped his mouth, and I caught a flash of teeth, my blood on his tongue. His eyes were red-rimmed.

I still couldn't move. Not even enough to brush the trail of blood away that was slowly seeping down my face. I stared up at him, horrified.

A few moments passed then, while the radio sent a jazzy number into the kitchen. Edward's eyes grew more and more human, and his godlike face turned from contentment to fear, and then to horror.

"Oh god," he whispered. "What have I done."

I was starting to hyperventilate. "Ahh," I moaned, finally picking up my hand and wiping it on my sore mouth. When I looked back at it, it was sticky with blood. My heart was beating so fast it hurt, and I began to shudder violently as the cold seeped into my body. Blackness attacked my vision and my head swam. I thought I felt my body leaving the floor, but I couldn't be sure. I sank gratefully into unconciousness, and if death was waiting for me on the other side, so be it.