This is my first attempt at fanfic EVER 'cause I generally don't like playing with characters that aren't mine...but, come on--it's Bella & the Cullens & the whole fantastic world of Twilight! So I caved...

As scared as I am, please tell me what you think!

Part I - The very blackest kind of blasphemy...

"She won't be happy about this."

"About what?"

"About me killing you…She thought it more appropriate to kill you than Edward—fair turn-about, mate for mate…I'm quite thirsty, and you do smell…simply mouthwatering."

"He'll know it was you. You won't get away with this."

"This is nothing personal, let me assure you, Bella. Just thirst…I'll be very quick. You won't feel a thing, I promise."


Even as we stood on the street corner, eighty years later, waiting for the lights to change, those last moments of Bella's life played sickeningly through my head. It was all I could think about anymore.

I gave a whole new meaning to the term "empty shell".

The only reason I was still here, still walking among the living was because of my family. Alice had seen what I had planned to do once I received word of…and she had gathered the family and flown to Volterra to head me off. I can't remember how long they spent, begging and pleading with me. All I wanted was to die…or do whatever our kind does. Without Bella there was no meaning to life, no existence. She had been like a burning meteor shooting across my night-sky. Without her…there was nothing.

I was blinded by the light I no longer saw.

I had uttered the blackest kind of blasphemy when I told her I didn't love her. I had somehow managed to convince myself that leaving was the best possible thing I could do for her. Let her live a life without the ever-present threat of death. But I should have known better. What was one of the first requests I ever made of her? Not to fall in the ocean or get run over. I had known she was a danger magnet from the beginning. How could I have possibly thought she would be safe on her own? How many times had I told her I was fighting Fate trying to keep her alive?

Yet, I had left and Fate had finally seized its chance.

The entire family was out for an early evening stroll. A ploy, I knew, to attempt to keep me distracted from dwelling on the past. Being surrounded by perfect couples was hardly an effective remedy, but I barely noticed. I barely noticed anything anymore. I walked with them when they wanted, hunted when they needed. I spoke when spoken to but otherwise kept very much to myself. I tried to act normal, but I knew I wasn't fooling them. I knew it was painful for my family to watch, but I couldn't do anything more for them. Not without my Bella.

We were standing at the traffic lights, waiting for the lights to stop the traffic and let us cross. We stood back from the humans that were starting to clutter the side walks. It was the end of the business day and people were rushing to get home.

The sky was dull grey with heavy rain clouds and smog, effectively blocking any rays of sunshine. The air was cool without the sun to warm it. Humans were burrowing into their coats and jackets, stuffing their hands into their pockets. The cool breeze carried with it the stench of the millions of humans crammed into this city. For there was no human scent that appealed to me anymore…or perhaps I was too numb to notice.

I took a step back, edging to the back of the group, trying to get some air as more black-clad humans squeezed their way onto the side walk, waiting for the lights. I constantly felt suffocated these days—a peculiar sensation since I didn't need the air and I hadn't for more than a century now. Just yet another mark of how human my love had made me.

I turned my face to the breeze, inhaling. Humans, greenhouse gases and…freesia.

Was my mind playing games? Had I finally snapped? Had my brothers finally been kind enough to put me out of my misery? I glanced back at them. No, of course not. Jasper stood with his arms tight around Alice—tight enough to snap a human in half, restraining himself. Emmett had his arm around Rosalie's shoulders. Carlisle stood hand-in-hand with Esme beside me.

I turned full on into the breeze, taking in another lungful of the mouthwatering scent. I closed my eyes. How could life be so cruel? It was so similar yet so…

I took a step forward.

"Edward." Alice was pulling on my arm. "Edward, we're crossing."

I shook her off and moved back onto the sidewalk, following the scent, ignoring the frantic beeping of the traffic lights I had just been waiting for. It was impossible. Impossible. There couldn't be two owners of that glorious scent. That would be blasphemy. And there was no way that she could be…not after what Alice had seen.

I stopped at the corner at the opposite end of the block, where the foot traffic was nowhere near as heavy, and looked across the road.

"Edward, what are you doing?" Alice asked. The whole family was behind me, around me.

I didn't look away from the other side of the road. "Can you smell that? Please tell me you can smell that." I took another deep breath, momentarily closing my eyes. "Freesia." I opened my eyes and they instantly looked to a small bookshop on the left of the building directly opposite me. "Tell me I'm not imagining it."

I heard them all take deep breaths, sampling the air. Jasper couldn't notice anything different but the others did.

"It smells like Bella," Alice whispered.

The door to the bookshop opposite opened with a tinkle that was audible to us clearly, along with an elderly man saying, "That's quiet all right, Sweetheart. Just try to make sure you're here a bit earlier than spot on closing-time next time."

The entire world stopped when I saw her bounce out the door, so unnaturally graceful, laughing. "I promise, Mr. Collingworth. Thankyou, again."

If my heart still had the ability to beat, it would have stopped in that instant. She was glorious—more than glorious. Glorious did her no justice, her brown tresses fanning out in an arch as she turned to thank the store-owner, a book clutched securely in her hands.

But it was the store-owner's final words that tore through my entire being.

"You have a good night, Miss Masen."

Disclaimer: Obviously, Twilight is not mine - 1) I wouldn't be writing fanfiction if it were, 2) I couldn't possibly dream of a guy as perfect as Edward Cullen, no matter how hard I tried and I wouldn't want to share him! All honours to Stephenie Meyer, please...