Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

Prologue

Once upon a time…

In the year 1901, there lived a beautiful young woman. This young lady, according to her father's dying wish, lived as a maid to her stepmother and two stepsisters. This wasn't how it had always been, of course, but ever since her mother had died things weren't the best for Isabella.

Isabella's mother passed away when she was only five years old. Before she died, Renee made Bella promise to find true love. As a child, Bella did not understand the magnitude of her promise—and so, naturally, she agreed.

Over the next eight years, Isabella grew into a beautiful young lady. At age thirteen, her life was turned upside down.

Her father, Charlie, remarried.

Esme Stanford was a vile shrew. Hatred radiated from her like heat. Bella could not understand why her loving father, the top knight in the town, was not able to sense a good person from a bad one. Convinced, therefore, that the woman must have some redeeming quality, Isabella did all she could to accept Esme and her two equally horrible daughters, Lauren and Jessica.

Things were only going to get worse. When Bella was fifteen years old, her father was slain in battle. Devastated by the news, Isabella resolved to obey his last wish and devote herself to the care of her step family. This proved to be increasingly difficult every day, however; Esme and her daughters treated poor Isabella as a slave. Despite the vast fortune which had been left to Esme upon Charlie's death, Bella was forced to sleep on the cold floor by the fireplace. Eventually, she developed an eternal thin varnish of ashes and cinders—and a name to go with it.

Without any action on her part, "Cinderbella" grew into a stunningly beautiful woman underneath the coating of ashes. Never having a moment in which to focus on herself, she didn't notice…

But someone else did.