-1Chapter 1

"You look so beautiful when you're concentrating." The velvet voice broke through the silence sending a chill down my spine. It was still so hard to believe that this voice belonged to me, let alone that its owner did too. I could feel his gaze on me as I stared down at my English text book, which only made my heart beat faster.

"Yeah, right." I moved under his gaze as his cold hand reached over and placed a strand of my hair behind my ear. I finally looked up into his eyes; they were the liquid topaz that I loved more than anything else. "I definitely do not look beautiful trying to cram a years worth of knowledge into my skull." I let out a heavy sigh, it wasn't the work that I was cramming into my skull, it was the idea that graduation was coming and I still hadn't made up my mind on who I wanted to change me.

It was almost two years now that I had known Edward Cullen and what he was. Little did I know that when I found out, it would turn me whole life inside out and put me in constant danger. The idea of this beautiful creature being a vampire didn't terrify me when I first found out, which Edward thought was insane. The truth was I hadn't realized what that really meant; I could never have foreseen at that time, there would be ravenous vampires hunting me. First time was James, a deranged vampire tracker that wanted me dead only because Edward had protected me. That was when I realized how dangerous vampires could really be; I almost didn't live through that experience. Then that spilled out to the Victoria disaster, James's mate. As if things could get worse, that was when the knowledge of Jacob and his werewolf pack was discovered. That was the worst time of my life, when I had almost lost this beautiful creature in front of me.

"What are you thinking?" Edward's sweet breathe flew into my face and for a minute, I couldn't think of what had just been swirling around in my mind. Now my thoughts were a blurred version of what they had just been and everything I had retained for my English final, disappeared.

"How there is no way for me to concentrate with you here." The words came out so suddenly that I hadn't thought of how Edward would take it. Right on cue, his beautiful marble like features fell into a serious scowl; he was thinking of what I had said and was now taking it too seriously. I placed my hand on his cheek and shook my head. "Don't take it that way" A small, sad smile crept out from the corner of his lips.

"How do you know how I was taking it?" Though he had a smile across his face, it never reached his eyes, which is how I knew that it was a fake smile he had plastered over his scowl. I couldn't help but feel guilty; Edward had always felt like he was in the way of me living a normal life, despite how much I would protest that this is the life I wanted. So every time I mentioned that I could not do something in his presence, he always got an expression of hurt, which only hurt me more. I must have looked a little upset because before I knew it, Edward had me in his arms, I couldn't help but smile.

"Because, I can read your expressions." The smile was contagious, after I had finished speaking; Edward had a smile on his face too. Even now, two years later, I was always surprised that his smile was for me; he was far too perfect to be with someone as normal as me. Edward placed me back on my feet gently and placed his hands carefully on the sides of my face; I knew what this meant. My heart stopped until his cold, stone lips were pressed against mine. I had to remind myself to breathe as well as stand completely still. Edward had a rule about these kinds of moments. I had to remain still, which was usually very hard, I had a habit of losing control. I could taste his sweet breath and it took every once of will power I had in my body to remain still. When the kiss finally broke, I could hear my heart racing in my chest and my face blush.

"I'm going to miss that." Edward's words were little more than a whisper onto my lips, which sent a chill down my back. My cheeks were still red, when I realized that was what Edward would miss; there was something about my blushing that he loved. I rolled my eyes, I had a feeling we were going to have another fight about her being turned into a vampire, despite the fact he was out voted.

"Well, I won't." I said the words a little harsher than I had intended to, Edward's expression fell from his smile into annoyance. I bit my lip and took in a deep breath, I was ready for any kind of argument he might present, but it looked as if Edward was contemplating what exactly to say.

"You know, it doesn't have to be as soon as after graduation." Edward's voice wasn't what I had expected, I was waiting to here his stern, forceful tone, but it was pleading. It was as if he were begging me to consider what he was saying. "The Volturi will not be coming anytime soon. I told you before; they don't count time as we do. A year for them is like a month to us. Even if they do come, I'll protect you from them." His topaz eyes screamed at me to agree to what he was saying, but in my heart I knew what was real.

"Edward, we've been over this, they will come and, if for some random reason they don't, Victoria is still coming; and her idea of time is just like ours." Instinctively I reached out to touch Edward's hand, it was so cold, but it was a cold I welcomed willingly. There was nothing in my story that wasn't the full truth, I was a marked human, doomed to be killed by vampires at some point in the very near future. "Besides, Edward… You were out voted." I smirked, trying to lighten the mood but failed.

"But you want me to change you and I asked you for more time with you being human." He had a stubborn look in his eye; there was no way he was going to budge on that. He was right, I really wanted him to change me, it seemed right, for the one I love to change me, but he wasn't my only option. I shook my head.

"I said I'd give you a year, but I still might take Carlisle on his offer to change me. I don't want to wait a year and half way through be killed by Victoria! Jacob and his pack have been looking for her all this time and have yet to find her!" I felt slightly victorious, a little scared, then a lot of guilt. I hadn't spoken to Jacob since he ratted me out to Charlie about my motorcycle, then again, I had been grounded the entire time; basically it was like a prison lockdown. I couldn't complain though, I had brought it all on myself. Edward's jaw seemed to clench when I mentioned Jacob and his pack, or Victoria, I bit my lip.

"We can protect you from Victoria, she's not a threat against the seven of us." Edward's eyes never stopped pleading me to consider what he had just said, but there was no going back, I had made up my mind on becoming a vampire, only decision left was who was going to turn me. I shook my head again.

"Sorry, but I made up my mind, I'm going to be a vampire, and you can decide whether you want to do it after graduation, or have Carlisle do it." I watched as Edward's eyes darkened with anger. Obviously the idea of an ultimatum wasn't appealing to him, but there was no other way to put it. I might be able to wait a year, but Edward was set one the next 80 years! In a swift action. Edward was standing above me, his eyes looking down at me in anger, but with something else behind it.

"I should be going. Charlie is in the driveway and he plans to check on you every couple of minutes." I nodded, of course Edward knew what Charlie was thinking, but there was something else. He seemed worried. Slowly, he made his was over to me, placed his hands on my cheeks and kissed me passionately. I was so taken aback I wasn't sure how to react, so I reacted as my body told me to, I ran my hands through his hair and held him close to me.

"Sorry." I whispered when our lips finally parted, but he didn't seem angry or upset with me in the slightest. He just smirked, his ice cold forehead pressed against mine, his eyes still closed. The next second, Edward was gone, I heard a slight whisper before he left, but I couldn't figure out what it was. Right on cue, as I was staring over my text books, moments after Edward had left, Charlie came into my room.

"Hey Charlie." I looked up, barely noticing the suspicious look on his face. I was still in a euphoric feeling over Edward's kiss. Charlie was still in his sheriff's uniform, despite the fact that he had been out of work for a couple of hours, just came in from Billy's.

"Hey Bella. What are you doing?" His eyes narrowed at the textbook that was laying in my lap, I lifted it up briefly so that he could see the cover, it was obviously a school book. He nodded. "Last final tomorrow." I nodded back, turned my eyes back to the book; I hated lying to Charlie about having Edward over, but Edward was only allowed to visit me under Charlie's supervision, guess he didn't want me taking off anytime soon.

"There's a lasagna in the fridge." Charlie was already turning out the door as I spoke, if he had heard me or not, I did not know, but he was gone in a second. I shrugged my shoulders and placed my text book at the bottom of my bed, there was no point looking at it anymore. I knew grammer and punctuation perfectly. I moved my body to the CD player next to my bed, Edward's CD was still in there, so I placed my headphones on my ears and began listening. The beauty of the lullaby still caused an insane amount of emotions to flood through me.

The next thing I knew, my alarm was going off next to my bed. It was time for my last final, and final day of high school. I looked over toward my window, it was completely dark, that meant Edward, Alice, and Jasper would be in school today. No sun, nothing to worry about. The thought of seeing Edward caused my heart to skip a beat, but I was also excited to see Alice and Jasper, who was becoming friendlier in recent months. I showered today, which was something I usually saved for before I went to bed, but I had plenty of time before I had to leave the house.

After I had dressed quickly; throwing on a pair of dark blue jeans and a plain white tee shirt for; I made my way downstairs for something to eat. Charlie was already making his way out the door as I stepped down the stairs. We said a quick good bye, then he left. I heard his cruiser pull out of the drive way as I ate a small granola bar, wondering if Edward was going to pick me up today or not. When I had finished brushing my teeth, I quickly ran down the stairs to the front door and threw it open. There Edward was, with a disturbing look on his face.

"What's wrong?" He didn't seem like himself, he looked worried about something. I reached behind the door and took my bag from off the small coat rack in the hallway. I then shut the door behind me as I made my way out of the threshold. Edward's car wasn't parked, it was idling in the driveway, like he had planned an immediate escape. Without a word, Edward grabbed my wrist and pulled me to the passenger door of the car.

"Can you finish your final quickly?" Edward seemed a bit nervous, always looking over his shoulder as he placed me in the car, closed the door, and made his way to the driver seat. I was a little confused, had something else gone wrong; had Victoria been found? My heart raced. I nodded.

"Yes, I can." I thought quickly, it was only English, I could finish it faster than anyone else. I read all the books several times, there would be virtually no grammer questions. The essays would take awhile, but I could finish them quick enough. "Why?" Edward shook his head.

"Alice saw something this morning. We'll need you to come to our house afterwards." Edward didn't explain and I figured I wasn't meant to hear what had happened just yet. He probably figured if I did I would panic more during my finals and fail. I looked away, and like he was reading my mind finally, he said, "It's not Victoria, don't worry." I saw a small smile creep into the corners of his mouth, but never touch his eyes. I smiled weakly back.

Before I knew it, we were at school, I never realized how fast Edward was going until we got to our destination in record time. Edward climbed gracefully out of the driver's seat and opened my door for me. He slowly walked to class with me, it was Edward's last final too, we had every class together because. The test was simple enough, nothing that I couldn't handle. Edward was, of course, done before everyone else in the class., which no one would have figured because he waited for me to be done. When I handed my exam in, I headed out the door and waited for Edward, who came out a couple of minutes later. He smiled at me.

"How do you think you did?" Edward was walking a slow pace with me, his hand wrapped around my waist. I shrugged my shoulders as we made our way to the guidance office to sign out of our last class. When we came into the office, there were no other students, and all the eyes in the room landed on me. I always felt like this, like all eyes looked at the fabulous Greek god standing with his arms over s completely normal looking girl. I sighed as we handed our papers in, they were quickly signed and we were on our way out. "Well, how did you do?"

"I think I did well." Edward smiled, it was a kind of mocking smile. I looked over at him, his eyes were laughing. I couldn't help but laugh with him, it was so good to hear him laugh, at what, I didn't know, but he was laughing.

"What are you laughing at?" I pulled myself away slightly, but his iron grip was around my waist and I couldn't take myself away from him, not that I even wanted to. As we made our way to the car, Edward's face became a little more serious. He shrugged.

"You said you did well on an English final, I think it's cute that you used proper English." Edward's smile faded from his face, but it still lingered in his eyes for a few more minutes. It wasn't until they were in the car did Edward's attitude return to what it was when he had picked me up. I looked at him nervously.

"What did Alice see?" The words came out as calm as I could muster them. They hadn't shook in the slightest bit, it was almost like I was asking for the weather. Edward sighed heavily as his body tensed up even more. For a moment I could see him debating the answer in his head, trying to find the best way to word it. He looked me sternly.

"You were right. The Volturi aren't wasting any time making sure we change you." Edward's jaw clenched tightly and I could swear I heard a low growl in his throat. His hands tightened on the steering wheel and I could swear I heard the wheel break under the pressure. "But they're not coming on their own… they're sending someone else in their stead." I didn't understand.

"Does she know who they're sending?" Edward had expected this question, he already had the expression across his face to answer it before I even asked.

"They're sending a group of four who are extremely dangerous. They're called Theon" The tone in Edward's voice suggested that this was a lot worse than Victoria being back, despite the fact that earlier it was supposed to be comforting. We drove quickly until we made it to his house, where his entire family sat outside waiting for them; worried expressions across their faces. I felt a strange shiver pass through my body, but not from cold, from fear.