This story takes place after "Eclipse" and before "Breaking Dawn."

Disclaimer: I do not own and I did not create these characters (except Sunny and Beth). All other characters belong to Stephenie Meyer ONLY!

Clara's POV

"I love you, Clara. Please forgive me," Carlisle's voice whispered.

Fire consumed my body. Every fiber of my being was ravaged by pain. My toes, my fingers, even my eyes hurt. I could feel it in my skin, my muscles, my veins, coursing through my blood. It lasted forever. It had to have been weeks, months, years that I suffered, but who knew.

The pain seemed almost determined. It had a target, my heart. I was helpless to stop it. I couldn't move. I wanted to scream but there was screaming all around me now. It would fade in and out, muffled voices would come and go, but nothing around me was ever clear. Nothing was comforting. I was alone in this torture. I was helpless.

Was this what it was like to die? Funny, but I had always pictured it so differently. I thought I would see my mom. I thought she would be waiting for me in a beautiful, bright light. The kind of light they talk about on ghost hunting shows. Where was the damn light? Where was my mom? Why was I in pain? I never imagined that death would hurt this much. Was I in hell? Why would I go to hell? What? You cheat on one test in fifth grade and that's it, eternal pain and damnation? It made no sense.

Was it because I lived with vampires? Well, that was a stupid reason for being in hell, too. You can't help who you fall in love with and the Cullens were more than I could have ever asked for. I was proud they had been my family. I was proud that they had loved me. I would gladly stay in hell forever if that were something that had to be paid for. I had never deserved them anyway.

There was a sudden, low growl in the distance. It made the screaming stop for a moment. That was a relief, but the relief only lasted a moment. The screaming turned to crying as the pain slowly started seeping from my fingers, down my arms, through my chest. The numbness was comforting, soothing after the pain.

The crying became hysterical, fear-filled as the numbness edged towards my heart. It was still beating. I could feel it. I wasn't dead.

Well, then what was happening to me? Where was everyone? Why did they leave me? That was when I noticed the pressure on my fingers. Someone was holding my hand. I wanted to squeeze their fingers, let them know that I was all right. I had survived the pain. It would end soon. I would die and the pain would, too.

It happened so suddenly that I almost missed it. My heart jolted then stopped, just like that. One moment it was beating and the next it was still.

I was still alive. I was breathing. The moment that I realized that my now useless lungs were still giving me breath, it clicked. I was a vampire now. I was truly a member of the family. I could stay.