Prologue Bella's POV

I gasped, and my hand went to my heart. I could feel it thudding away in my chest- so that meant I was still alive. My lungs constricted, and I fought for breath as the pain threatened to drag me under. It felt like I was ripping open- like a rag doll from the seams. My breathing became jagged and fast, horror clouding my brain and making my legs freeze. I felt like the rabbit caught under the headlights- I didn't know which way to run.

Edward walked forward at a leisurely pace, revelling in my terror. One edge of his mouth curled up in a sneer, a shadow of the smiles I had seen him produce with those same lips. His hair was blowing slightly in the wind, the bronze in it catching the light and reflecting it. His skin- the same skin I had loved and touched before- was shining as sunbeams glittered off it. I put one hand in front of my face as flickers of light hit my sensitive eyes.

"Am I too bright for you?" Edward said, his voice hard and icy. He laughed coldly. I felt further from him than I had ever felt before. This was his vampire side… it was not only the sun he was reflecting- it was the cruelness, inhumanity and malice of the Volturi as well.

"…Edward?" I choked, my voice raspy.

He ignored me, just lifted his arms- his perfect, marble, beautiful arms- and held his palms towards me.

"I'm not going to hurt you," he drawled. He came closer, and I stepped back.

For a few seconds, he stared at me. My eyes were wide with fear, my legs shaking. I could feel cold sweat breaking up on the back of my neck, hairs standing up as my body told me to run- run, run and not stop for anything.

But I couldn't. I couldn't get enough of him.

My eyes travelled down his face to his neck, to the hollow of his collarbone, to crease of his elbow, to every place I had known and loved.

"Edward!" I said, my voice wavering.

He ignored me once again. Perhaps he thought a human was too low to bother with.

"Edward! This isn't you!" I pleaded.

He took a step closer my way, his body only a metre away from me- but he towered over me now. He pushed against my chest with his hands, and I felt myself being slammed back into a wall.

"Edward!" I pleaded. I didn't know why, but I couldn't stop saying his name. It felt cold and foreign on my lips now, like some long forgotten love that could never be.

"Yes?" He said. "I believe that is my name you are calling."

"I love you, Edward!"

And then he smiled. His teeth scared me- like they never had before. They were so white, so dazzling, so dangerous. Like every other part of him. Why hadn't I been able to stay away from him?

And then he said the words that broke my heart.

"Well, I don't love you."

I couldn't breathe. I just stared. Stared in complete horror.

Edward slammed me back against the wall again, and I felt my head crack. Blood began to coat my face, running down my forehead, dripping from the end of my nose, pooling in the hollows of my cheeks.

"You don't…" I gasped, "You don't mean that."

I felt the metallic bitter tang of blood in my mouth, running down my teeth. I expected I looked like a vampire now, pale and bloody.

"Oh," Edward said. He raised one perfect eyebrow in an expression of mocking and hatred. "I think I do."

Then he leaned forward, and his scent swept over me. Stronger now, as if in anticipation. I felt myself breathe in deeply- I had no control over my nose.

"I am a perfect predator, am I not?" Edward said. He leaned forward and licked my cheek, tasting the blood. I could feel the tingle of cold skin where his tongue had been.

"What is wrong with you?" I whispered. I couldn't will myself to speak any louder. My throat felt like it was burning- white-hot flames that licked up my face. This was not the pain a vampire felt on the day of turning- this was worse. This was my heart, squeezing and pumping- fighting to live.

"Oops," Edward said, running one of his long spider-like fingers down my cheek. "I think I broke your skull. What a shame… I shouldn't waste the blood."

I raised my hands to push him backwards, but he batted me away as if I was a fly- his cold skin striking my hot flesh in a shattering wave of agony. I looked at my wrist, could see the blood thudding through my veins, and could feel the pulse of my heartbeat- the heat that flushed across my face.

"Edward," I breathed, my voice turning into a beg, "Please. Don't kill me."

How strange it was, that I feared for my life. And from him…

He smiled again, his sharp teeth a mere inch from my lips. He pushed his body against me, jamming me against the wall, cutting off my only escape route. As if I could have run from him!

And then he leant forward, his nose brushing mine. I shook from head to toe, my body shuddering. I felt his cold hands on my shoulders, pinning me where he wanted me.

I looked up his face; to the thing that I loved the best about him. His eyes.

A scream burst from my lips when I noticed them. He jammed his palm over my mouth, stopping the noise. He stared at me through a pair of gold eyes that were slowly turning red.

"You see?" Edward said. "One drop is all it takes…"

By the time he had finished his sentence they were deep maroon- the colour of blood. And then he leant forward, and bit down on my neck.

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Disclaimer: I don't own anything, apart from that damned rabid bear that caused all the trouble!